Human trafficking involves transporting someone into a situation of exploitation. This can include but is not limited to forced labor, marriage, prostitution, and organ removal. This kind of exploitation is known by a few different names -- “human trafficking,” “trafficking of persons,” and “modern slavery”. Human trafficking occurs in first and third world countries and no region of the world is off-limits. It’s estimated that internationally there are between 20 million and 40 million people in modern slavery today. Estimates suggest that about 50,000 people are trafficked into the US each year, most often from Mexico and the Philippines. In 2018, over half (51.6%) of the criminal human trafficking cases active in the US were sex trafficking cases involving only children. Assessing the full scope of human trafficking is difficult because so cases so often go undetected, this is commonly known as “the hidden figure of crime.” Just like us, there are various organizations working to end modern-day slavery. Here are a few we thought were worth noting.
This Organization keeps its mission statement simple; Abolish slavery everywhere. Founded in Australia by Christine Caine in 2008, A21 now has headquarters in a dozen countries. The organization has constantly emphasized awareness of human trafficking into Western Europe and how former Soviet Union countries have surpassed Asia as trafficking origins to Western European countries. According to their website, only 1% of people trafficked are able to escape.
This London based NGO was founded in 1839 and is the world’s oldest human rights organization. Originally found under the name XXXXX by XXXXX, they aimed to not just end slavery in the British Empire but all around the world. Since the early 90’s, Anti-Slavery International has earned 20 different anti-slavery awards and continues to push for justice for exploited individuals.
Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking
ALERT is an organization opened in 2003 by the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. They help survivors of trafficking by providing food, shelter, legal counseling, medical assistance, mental health counseling, language interpretation, immigration counseling, and much more. Their goal is to end human trafficking and provide help to those who have suffered from it. The organization partners with law enforcement, religious organizations, social service agencies, and concerned citizens. Their three main goals are to end Human Trafficking, help those affected by it, and to educate residents in and outside of Arizona.
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS) serves as one of America’s most well-known services for healing and empowering women and girls exploited by sexual trafficking. Founded in New York in 1998, they are the US’s first and only organization to provide trauma-informed and strength-based services to women and girls ages 12-24. For over twenty years the organization has provided a place to strengthen and empower women who have been domestically trafficked. In 2007, GEMS created a three-day training program to enable individuals to fight to traffic and pass on what they have learned. Since then, thousands have been trained and have gone on to train others. To learn how you can get trained to fight back visit their site gems-girls.org.
Redlight Children Campaign
The Redlight Children Campaign was founded in 2002 by Guy Jacobson, an American lawyer and film production CEO, and Adi Ezroni, an Israeli actress. The goal is to combat the sex industries' exploitation of children. Jacobson first had the idea while he was backpacking through Cambodia. One night during his travel a group of children, some as you as five years old approached him to attempt to solicit their services. When he told them he wasn’t interested they said that if they returned to the brothel empty-handed they would be beaten. Jacobson gave them some money and left them. Since then he has made it his mission to destroy the child sex industry. He has made films with Adi Ezroni going undercover in Cambodia’s child sex trade and even endangering himself to the Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese mafia.
Run for Courage
Founded in 2009 and based in Sacramento, California, Run For Courage raises awareness and financial support for victims of human trafficking and their families. Vick Zito founded the organization after his daughter was abducted and trafficked into sexual slavery. By organizing charity runs it has raised over half a million dollars in its first four years. In 2010, the funds raised were donated to Courage House, a safe house for teens who were sexually trafficked in Roseville, California. In 2014, Run For Courage sent representatives to each performance of She Has a Name, a play about human trafficking written by Andrew Kooman.
In 2017, actor, Ashton Kutcher, made a viral speech addressing the tragedy of child trafficking. It was then that the public became much more aware of the organization he had founded years earlier with then-wife, Demi Moore. They named the organization Thorn and made it their mission to end sexual abuse against children. After Julie Cordua took on the role of CEO, she came to learn about how advancing technology enables predators. By 2014, Thorn had fought back with the same weapon pedophiles use. They developed technology that makes it easier to identify child abusers online and made it free for law enforcement. With their expanding technological innovation, Thorn has been able to achieve their three missions: Accelerating the identification of those involved in child abuse, equipping platforms, and empowering the public. With that, it is important to note that Thorn is currently hiring for a variety of positions.
Stop The Traffik Stop
The Traffik was founded in 2006 with the goal of ending human trafficking worldwide. They aim to rescue those affected by trafficking but also to prevent it. They also work hard to educate the public by teaching them what trafficking is, how to identify it, and how to respond appropriately afterward. Their site, stopthetraffik.org, also allows people to anonymously report potential trafficking cases and educates the public on trafficking issues by each country.
Slaveryfootprint.org is a site to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and the exploitation of workers. The main feature of the site is a quiz that takes approximately fifteen minutes to complete. Based on your lifestyle and consumer habits, the quiz will calculate how many slavery is currently working to provide you with what you have. Created by Justin Dillon who is the CEO of Made in a Free World, the site aims to raise awareness as to how our daily habits may support exploitation. In 2012 Slavery Footprint won the Guardian Award for Digital Innovation 2012 shortlist in the category of "Technology for Social Change.