Friday, January 11, 2019

Favorite Human Trafficking Resources

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I'm wearing blue (well, not right at this moment, because I haven't changed after going to the gym) in support of human trafficking victims. Last month (December) I wore a dress every day in support of these trafficked men, women, and children. Along the way I learned more about human trafficking from blogs, news articles, and a book. I'm still learning and and developing a heart for these victims.

Here are four resources I've found to be helpful in educating myself about the nature of human trafficking and what I can do about it. If you have found other helpful resources, please share them in the comments!

1. "In Our Backyard" by Nita Belles.
5 out of 5 stars!
This book was very informing. I read it because I wanted to learn more about human trafficking, and it worked.
Nita Belles reveals the true nature of this hidden crime. Her big point is that it is a crime and it is prevalent RIGHT HERE in the United States.
She also encourages us with practical advice to answer the question: "What can I do about it?" She says: "There is nothing the criminals involved in the modern-day atrocities of human trafficking and slavery-the recruiters, the traffickers, the pimps- want more than for decent people to remain ignorant about what they do. All they ask is that we do nothing. Simple silence. If the myth that "it doesn't happen here" can prevail, they have won." -page 60
Let me caution you that this book is not for the fainthearted. Nita Belles tells us that she shares the least disturbing of the stories, but the stories she shares are horrible. It is a lot to digest. I would suggest reading it with a partner so that you can talk about it.

2. The Breakpoint Podcast Interview with Raleigh Sadler. 
This was a great podcast to listen to. It's only a half hour out of your time (for me, the time I spent cleaning my room). Most of the facts and stats he shared I had already heard elsewhere. But his practical advice at the end was fantastic.

3. The Dressember Ethical Brands Page
If you, like me, decide (after some research) to try to buy ethical/fair trade clothing as much as possible, this page is helpful. Fair trade clothing means that the workers who make the clothing are paid fair wages and work in good working conditions. I decided that when I am able to, I will try to buy fair trade. It takes more effort and more money. Most of the stuff is more expensive than I usually pay, but I remind myself that it is worth it because someone is being paid a fair wage. And, most of these sites employ former trafficking victims, giving them something to do so that they don't return to their traffickers. This page lists at least 30 different websites where you can order fair trade clothing online. It takes some effort and digging to find something, but in the end I feel it is worth it.

4. Set up a Google Alert
Raleigh Sadler actually suggests this in his podcast (spoiler alert). Go to google.com/alerts  and follow the instructions to set up an alert. This will send news articles about human trafficking in the region you choose (I chose the United States) straight to your email inbox. Every day I get an email with a collection of news articles that I browse through. This is a great way to stay up-to-date on laws and court cases involving human trafficking.

BONUS! I've heard good things about Polaris Project, though I haven't checked it out myself. I hear it is the hub for human trafficking activists.

I hope you take time to learn at least a little bit about human trafficking. Get informed and be inspired to make a difference.

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