Perhaps you are asking yourself what you can do to prevent or combat human trafficking. This may seem very far from your everyday reality – a problem you’ve never seen firsthand and one you don’t feel you can do much about. I encourage you to learn as much as you can and to act regardless. Many people do not fully understand trafficking. You don’t have to know everything to raise awareness. Nor do you have to be an expert to act. Here are some suggestions I can offer you:
Learn about human trafficking and raise awareness. I suggest the following books for a deeper understanding:
- Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara
- Sex Trafficking: The Global Market in Women and Children by Kathryn Farr
- Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity by Nicholas Kristof
- Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone
Donate to the organizations doing the legwork. Every anti-trafficking NGO needs financial help. Small donations can go along way in developing countries. Never give blindly to any organization. Do your research to ensure they are reputable and that your money will go to good use. See Charity Navigator for ratings. I recommend the following anti-trafficking NGOs: ECPAT, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Made By Survivors, Somaly Mam Foundation, and Maiti Nepal.
Start a coalition. We cannot rely on governments to solve our problems. Repeat. We cannot rely on governments to solve our problems. Nor can we wait for them to act. You can create a coalition or committee in your area. You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org t0 request a comprehensive educational and training resource packet on how to start a coalition and get active in your area.
Write a letter. While we cannot rely solely on government, we cannot exclude their leadership and policy. We must demand action from our legislators. If we bombarded the Senate with thousands of letters and e-mails demanding aggressive action to end modern day slavery, perhaps we would get their attention and the real work could begin.
I wholeheartedly believe that everyone can make a difference however slight. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. All you have to do is begin.