7 Ways You Can Help Fight Child Trafficking
Throughout January, Human Trafficking Awareness Month, FieldNotes and the End Trafficking project are running a series of posts on child trafficking. Jennifer K. Chan is a program officer for End Trafficking.
How can you can join the fight to end child trafficking? Here are seven concrete actions you can take:
- 1. Tell Congress to protect children.
Abused or neglected young people are extremely vulnerable to trafficking. Two bills before Congress can reduce the risks they face. Bipartisan House and Senate versions of the Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R. 1732 and S.1823), will improve state child welfare systems to better protect children. Urge your representatives to cosponsor them now!
- 2. Mentor at-risk youth in your community.
Vulnerable children need the consistent presence of a caring adult in their lives. Volunteer to tutor or mentor a girl or boy in your community. Get connected to an organization near you at www.mentoring.org.
- 3. Go Fair Trade.
Fair Trade-certified products are free of forced labor and child labor. Profits from these products support farmers and laborers and ensure that they are paid fairly and work under safe conditions. To learn more, visit www.fairtradeusa.org.
- 4. Be a child-safe tourist during spring break.
Children in tourist areas are at risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Learn to take simple actions that minimize harm to children at www.childsafetourism.org.
- 5. Rethink how you speak.
Change the conversation in your social circles. A “pimp” is not a cool guy, but someone who abuses and exploits women. A “prostitute” is often a victim of sexual exploitation. Help your friends rethink their choice of language. Visit www.againstourwill.org/how-to-talk-about-it.
- 6. We need a few good men. Be one!
Men have an important role to play in ending human trafficking. “A Call to Men” shares ways for men to speak out against violence, rape and child trafficking — visit www.acalltomen.org. Also, check out the Man Up Campaign at www.manupcampaign.org.
- 7. Learn the signs.
Learn five common signs that a person — child or adult — is being trafficked and call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text to BeFree (233733) to report a potential case.
This list is not exhaustive and represents only a few possible actions you can take to help fight child trafficking. Learn more about the U.S. Fund’s End Trafficking project or download the End Trafficking toolkit (pdf).