(learn - engage - communicate)
Sometimes we feel so removed from an issue that we cannot imagine that it is happening in our communities. Professionals such as educators, healthcare providers, and law enforcement may overlook the signs and indicators of trafficking because they lack information. As a church or organization, you can help raise awareness about human trafficking. The goal is both to decrease the demand for goods and services provided by exploited men, women, and children and to decrease the supply of people who are at risk for being trafficked.
Identify and assign a team leader to serve as a point of contact, to oversee and coordinate all awareness efforts. See our Leader Profile HERE. Give him/her access to the toolkit and let them lead.
Learn more about the issue, including the INDICATORS. There are many films, books and websites about human trafficking. Expand your personal knowledge about these issues by checking out any of our recommended BOOKS AND FEATURE films, SHORT films, FULL LENGTH films, BUYING THE LIE video, and THE PROBLEM IS MEN video, as well as familiarizing yourself with all presentations available such as those included for LAW ENFORCEMENT, PUBLIC AWARENESS, HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS AND CHILD SERVICE PROVIDERS. Polaris Project puts out a SEX TRAFFICKING NETWORK chart that can help you to understand who traffickers can be, where victims come from, pricing, control methods, etc both domestic and abroad. There are also additional printable items found in our DIGITAL LIBRARY.
Develop action steps based on what you learned from these resources.
Engage your community thru a wide variety of ACTIVITIES that raise awareness about human trafficking. This starts the dialogue and as more and more people become aware of human trafficking, more and more people will be identified and rescued. Do not just rely solely on the list we provide; use your imagination to spread the word!
Reach out to groups and engage them in activities that raise awareness. Find creative ways to expose the myths about exploitation, such as the glamorization of pimp culture, and raise awareness among vulnerable populations found in detention centers or programs for at-risk children and youth. Use our REQUEST A SPEAKER form to effectively plan speaking engagements where you can give presentations as people and organizations become more aware and desire education. Use awareness BROCHURES and FLYERS at events that enable you to set up an awareness table where people can take printed material home with them. Also see our already established BILLBOARD campaign designs that you can use.
Successful grassroots activism requires a paradigm shift. The people in your sphere of influence may or may not be passionate about social issues, especially ones that they may be tacitly involved in or unknowingly perpetrating. For example, consumers of pornographic material are supporting an industry that is harming and exploiting women and sometimes children. It will take all our efforts to see an end to slavery and the next step of raising awareness is to live out your activism in every day life.
Buy fair trade and traffic-free commodities and use them as an entry point for conversations with community members and stakeholders about human trafficking, both domestic and abroad. Use fair trade coffee at functions and encourage other organizations to do the same. Raise money for the effort. Remember, people give to a cause that you support because of your reputation, integrity, and lasting relationship. It is very important to be loving in all that you do.