We are all in this together. As I discussed in my last blog, as many as 800,000 persons are trafficked each year, the majority of whom end up in prostitution and forced labor situations, earning their captors over 32 billion dollars a year. What can you or I, Joe and Jane average, do to help?
The answer is MORE THAN YOU THINK. Every one of us can reduce demand, raise awareness and provide resources.
Reduce demand. This is NOT a “women’s issue.” The predominate purchasers of sex trafficked women and children are men. Therefore, it is important to address the demand side. The Coalition against the Trafficking of Women(CATW), a human rights organization, advocates for laws criminalizing the purchasers of prostitution. CATW also works to educate men and boys about the harm caused to other human beings by the pornography and prostitution industry. (For more information on their work, visit their site.) The United States has a law allowing its citizens to be prosecuted for certain sex crimes committed against children overseas, called “extraterritorial jurisdiction.” (More information.)
Raise awareness. Many governmental and non-governmental organizations work to inform the public about the harm done by human trafficking. Consider “boosting the signal” on Facebook, Twitter and your personal blog. Join the UN’s Blue Heart Campaign.
Provide resources. Consider donating to organizations devoted to stopping human trafficking. Your donation to any 501(c)(3) such as the Not for Sale Campaign is tax deductible.
Finally. not everyone can afford to donate, but everyone needs to buy clothes. Consider purchasing from Jo’el Worldwear. Check out our boutiques here.