Working in Nepal to help exploited people, we are frequently asked about human trafficking. Nepal became well known as a source region for trafficking thanks to the 2010 CNN hero of the year award to Anuradha Koirala the founder of Maiti Nepal and a subsequent documentary hosted by Demi Moore and featuring Ms. Koirala’s work. These media and many other recent reports, films, and books, have been very effective in educating people about the horror of human trafficking. Unfortunately, in such a challenging issues, it is often difficult to know how to get involved. Several months ago, I ran across this wonderful list of ways to fight human trafficking compiled by “Passion 2013,” and I’d like to share it here. (Unfortunately, it’s rather US centric and we know we have many readers in other countries, but perhaps it will still be useful for creating ideas about how to engage.)
Passion 2013 – 27 Ways to do more
1. Take the Slavery Footprint Survey and learn how many slaves work for you – based on the things you purchase, wear, eat, use and purchase on a daily basis. SlaveryFootprint.org
2. Be a conscious consumer. Download and use the Free World App to let brands know that you care where they source items from for their products. itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-world/id466979649?mt=8
3. Demand that your senators, representatives, and government officials make fighting slavery a top priority.
· Here’s how you can contact them:
· Representative: WriteRep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
4. Do research. Dig online, read books and articles, and watch films to learn as much as you can about the slavery issue.
5. Be aware. If you suspect trafficking call the National Trafficking Hotline. Plug the number in your phone: 1-888-3737-888
6. Start an International Justice Mission Chapter on your campus and rally a generation to fight for freedom. IJM.org/itmatters
7. Get trained to fight slavery. Attend one of the Not For Sale Abolitionist Academy’s to learn more about how you can identify and fight slavery. NFSAcademy.org
8. Stop viewing pornography and encourage your friends to stop. Human Trafficking and pornography are closely linked. When you consume pornography you are supporting trafficking. Stop.
9. Challenge airlines to provide training for all flight attendants on how to identify and watch for victims being trafficked. InnocentsAtRisk.org
10. Adopt, foster children, or become an orphan advocate. Orphans and risk children are more likely to become victims of trafficking, slavery, and sexual exploitation.
11. Breathe life and words of encouragement to girls who have been rescued from trafficking situations by writing letters to them. thea21campaign.org/write-a-letter.php
12. Read books about slavery, pass along the book or start a book club. Decide as a group how to take action. Suggested book list available at 268generation.com/passion2013/learn/
13. Get educated and learn the facts. Then, boldly use social media and opportunities in your community and sphere of influence to speak up.
14. Become an intern at an organization fighting slavery and/or trafficking on a local, nation, and/or global scale. Use your gifts, talents, and time to make a difference.
15. Act local. Get your church, friends, or group involved in fundraising, volunteering with, and serving a local organization caring for women and children who have been sexually exploited.
16. Fight slavery in the checkout line by learning about and refraining from purchasing items often produced by forced labor. Learn more by reading the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/PDF/2011TVPRA.pdf
17. Eat Fair Trade chocolate and tell leaders in the chocolate industry to stop using child slave labor and institute labor standards among their suppliers.
18. Be creative. Use your gifts to raise awareness and fight for freedom right where you are. Write articles, make films, host events, go – the options are endless.
19. Engage with the CNN Freedom Project as they use their media influence to highlight slavery stories and help set captives free. TheCNNFreedomProject.blogs.cnn.com/
20. Challenge tourism suppliers such as hotels and airlines to sign and participate in the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. TheCode.org
21. Connect and/or support a local ministry working in your town that is reaching out to strip clubs and massage parlors to identify trafficking and offer alternative options for girls who want to escape.
22. Help report, document, and track cases of trafficking in your community and around the globe. slaverymap.org/
23. Buy goods and support organizations that are helping those rescued from slavery, trafficking, and sexual exploitation begin a new future.
24. Use your investments to fight slavery, not feed slavery. Learn more and take action to ensure slavery free investments: FreeTheSlaves.net/Page.aspx?pid=379
25. Demand companies to define and root out forced labor from their supply chains. chainstorereaction.com
26. Volunteer, teach a life skill class, be an academic mentor, or participate in home improvement project to help restore the women at Wellspring Living recovery shelter in Atlanta, GA. wellspringleague.org/?page_id=163
27. Teach young people that slavery still exists and challenge them to get involved. Parents, educators, youth and college pastors can help raise up the next generation of abolitionist. Parent and Educator Discussion Guide: cnn.com/2011/US/studentnews/04/04/freedomproject.teacher.guide/index.html
Also, we would add #28 to the list: Volunteer with PURNAA in beautiful Nepal!