When one mentions the word ‘slavery,’ many people think back to the darker days of American history; they lament this tragedy and sigh with relief that slavery is over. But in reality, an estimated 27 million people are still enslaved today — this number surpasses the total number of slaves transported during 400 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Human traffickers today coerce people of all shapes and sizes, men, women, and children, into all different types of slavery. To help end this ever-present problem, here are five creative ways to fight human trafficking.
Get educated with the book “Sold” by Patricia McCormick.
“Sold” by Patricia McCormick is the fictional story of a 13-year-old Nepali girl named Lakshmi who is sold by her family into sex slavery. McCormick captures both Lakshmi’s innocence and the horror of her circumstance in a beautifully written, verse novel. Despite the book’s heavy content, it is considered a children’s novel (recommended for ages 12 and up) as McCormick’s desire was to activate and inspire the next generation to act rather than scar.
Easy to understand, well-researched and heartbreaking, “Sold” is the perfect novel to read to better comprehend and empathize with victims of human trafficking.
Be an advocate for change with your political representatives.
Despite what many Americans believe, reaching out to political leaders is incredibly simple, and representatives really do want to hear from their constituents. Speak up and advocate on behalf of those who cannot for themselves by letting delegates know that they should fight against human trafficking and make it a priority.
Give them a call, send an email or schedule a meeting to show just how important this issue is and why it should be important to them.
Use social media to inform your circle of influence.
One of the simpler creative ways to fight human trafficking is to simply post on social media. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other myriad of social media outlets, sharing a helpful Ted Talk, graphic or simply reiterating some of the facts can get others involved.
Everyone has a sphere of influence, so utilize one of the best ways to connect with them by taking to social media.
Make a conscious decision to avoid products by some of the biggest companies in America.
Some of America’s biggest brands benefit from and exploit the use of slave labor in making their products. Nestle, Hershey’s, Walmart and H&M are all massive companies and some of the most notorious offenders. What will get the attention of these big businesses?
Stop using their products and frequenting their stores. Hit these companies where it will hurt the most – their profits. In a society that thrives in a competitive marketplace, consumers can demand ethical practices by simply refusing to buy anything from corporations that benefit from human trafficking.
It is all too easy to become discouraged when fighting a human rights violation as widespread and horrific as human trafficking. Do not give up. As people continue to implement these small changes and make it clear that this kind of unethical behavior will not be tolerated, change will come. Look for the changes that are already happening and focus on what can be controlled and done to create change.
As the battle to end slavery rages on, these five creative ways to fight human trafficking can help make small, constructive changes for the good of others.
– Sarah Dean