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Four Ways You Can Fight Trafficking

by Stacye Wilson

You’ve seen and heard it: “End Trafficking Now.” The sentiment is great, but you’re just one person and trafficking is a worldwide issue. What can one person do to end trafficking? Plenty!

Educate yourself. Trafficking is defined by Polaris Project (the organization that runs the U.S. human trafficking hotline) as “the business of stealing freedom for profit.” This includes labor and sex trafficking, with approximately 20.1 million people worldwide trapped in forced labor and another 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation.

Know the signs. Recognizing potential red flags and indicators of human trafficking is a key step in identifying victims and helping them find the assistance they need. Have you encountered someone who is not free to come and go at will? Is fearful, submissive, or nervous/paranoid? Shows signs of poor hygiene, malnourishment, and/or fatigue? Protects the person who may be hurting them or minimizes abuse? These are just a few potential indicators of trafficking. See a more comprehensive list here. 

Know what to do when you see the signs. You’ve educated yourself and you are confident that you could recognize potential signs of trafficking. Now what? First of all, make sure you have the National Human Trafficking Hotline number: 1-888-373-7888, and use 911 if you witness acts of violence. Get license plate numbers or addresses if possible and a description of the suspected trafficker and/or victim, but never compromise your own safety or try to apprehend or follow a suspected trafficker.

Support organizations that offer survivor-made, fairly traded goods. Thistle Farms and our Global partners create natural body & home products, as well as clothing and accessories that are made by women who have survived trafficking and other harsh injustices - so you can feel good about helping women survivors get a second chance at life. Every purchase immediately and tangibly contributes to the healing of it’s maker by providing a living wage, a safe workplace and loving community. See more here.

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