Survivors work to prevent human trafficking, aid victims
Victims of human trafficking come from every region of the globe. Increasingly, survivors are taking the lead in the fight against the crime and in helping its victims to heal.
To understand the scope of the problem, caused primarily by criminals subjecting victims to forced labor or sex trafficking, one need only see the International Labour Organization estimates, which say that at any given time in 2021:
- 21 million people worked in a factory, on a farm or as a domestic worker under threat of penalty or harm.
- 6 million people — adults and children (99% female) — were forced to participate in the sex industry.
Since 2010, every U.S. president has dedicated January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and January 11 is observed as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. (The Department of Homeland Security will host #WearBlueDay on social media on January 11.)
Survivors spare others
Two survivor leaders spoke with ShareAmerica about protecting young people, in particular.
Tanya Gould, the anti-human trafficking director for the attorney general of Virginia, brings a survivor’s perspective to the state’s response to the problem.
Gould says parents should make “internet guardianship” a priority because traffickers often seek young victims online. “Teach your kids that buying sex is wrong. Everything is not for sale, and the value of sex and intimacy is priceless.”
School staffers should be trained to identify traffickers and minors under their influence, she said. In addition, adults who supervise children should know how to use reporting protocols for suspected trafficking.
Parents and guardians can educate themselves by watching videos of survivors telling their stories and learning about apps that traffickers use to contact young people….