When we speak about massive and persistent crimes against humanity, they almost always seem too large to tackle. But the truth is, any generation can be the one to put an end to these atrocities. Globally, there are 40.3 million victims existing in modern slavery so, what can be done to bring this system to an end? Here are some suggestions as researched by the anti-human-trafficking organization Hope for Justice.
Address the causes that create vulnerable populations
Vulnerable populations are created by social and economic impacts. Poverty, issues within the family unit, abuse of any kind, and trauma all contribute to making someone a potential victim of human trafficking. On a global scale, political instability, militarism, and displacement can expose populations to trafficking. Partnering with anti-human-trafficking allies can be an effective multilateral effort to provide victim-centered intervention, care, and treatment resources.
Confront the global demand for goods and services by trafficked persons
Without demand, there is no command of slave labor. There needs to be more corporate responsibility with regard to the use of forced labor in supply chains. At the consumer level, people should research companies they buy from before making a purchase. Even a simple search on Google will show you whether a company has made good on their efforts to combat exploitation in their business.
Spread awareness of human trafficking through training and education
Education and outreach empowers communities to be able to respond to human trafficking situations the right way. For example, not every case of commercial sex or human smuggling is a human trafficking case. If individuals are educated about risk and prevention factors that are specific to trafficking, communities can help with the identification of its occurrence. Awareness is also needed for a person to be able to consider for themselves whether they are in an exploitative situation and how they can get out of it.
To report a potential human trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, text HELP to BEFREE (233733), or email email@example.com.
Prevent the corruption of public officials
As mentioned above, militarism, political instability, and civil unrest can expose people to becoming victims of human trafficking. Over 300,000 children across 10 countries are known to be serving as child soldiers in global conflicts today. Political instability also creates asylum seekers who, in their desperation to flee persecution, illegally cross international borders, even if that means trusting rogue criminal entities for assistance.
Secure the border
Securing the nation’s border is not anti-immigration. Evidence shows that cases of illegal human smuggling across the border can quickly turn into a case of human trafficking with offenders luring victims with promises of transport, visas, and employment only to be trapped in a forced debt bondage relationship. Situations like these can be hard to track with victims feeling like they have no choice in terms of prosecution or federal intervention because they fear being sent back to their respective countries.