KNOW YOUR ABCs

People often ask me, "how can I get involved in the fight against human trafficking?" While some of us want to dedicate our lives to this fight, it's not necessary for everyone. In fact, if we ALL would simply embrace a lifestyle of freedom, we would have a greater impact on this injustice than we currently do. 

A great place to start is to know your ABCs.

1) ADVOCATE

Use your voice and influence to create change. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, live in the USA or don't, we can all educate ourselves and those around us. I'm sure we all know 2 people who know little to nothing about human trafficking. Start by educating and equipping those two then expand your efforts as time goes on. Or host a prayer gathering to educate your friends and stand on the front lines of this fight. Just use your voice!

Resources: 

A21 Campaign, Prayer Guide
End It Movement
Global Slavery Index

2) BUY

Once you're educated about the basics of trafficking, start learning about the goods and industries that are most affected. For instance, "68% of raw materials, such as cotton, cocoa and coffee, contain forced or child labor (U.S. DOL). U.S. brands including Forever 21, Gap Inc., PepsiCo, Nestle, Hershey’s, Nintendo, and Disney source some raw materials from factories and farms that employ slave labor."1 What we purchase, matters. Shop ethically as much as possible. And I realize you might not be able to afford certain things, but you CAN tell corporations you don't agree with injustice. Buying products made by survivors is a great place to start! Visit the Holistic Consumerism page for more information.

Resources: 

Slavery Footprint
Made in a Free World
Free2Work

3) COMBAT

Whether you're using your talents and abilities to directly benefit an organization or you donate to one you believe in, it's important to support those who are combatting this issue everyday. Also, take out your phone and put in the National Human Trafficking Hotline number (1-888-373-7888). Use this to report a suspicious situation, share it with your friends, or give it to someone who you believe is at-risk or currently being trafficked. 

Organizations to consider supporting: 

Not For Sale
Nomi Network
As Our Own
Restore NYC
International Justice Mission
Polaris Project

_______________________________

(1) Info provided by Nomi Network

HIGH RISK INDUSTRIES

Do you know which products are frequently associated with human trafficking? Which goods you should pay the most attention to when shopping? It depends on the good and the industry, but exploited and/or forced labor is often found throughout the supply chain of things we buy everyday, whether it occurs in the production of the raw material or in a factory along the way.

The latest estimates show that 35.8 million people are victims of modern day slavery. Most people associate human trafficking with the sex trade - because it’s horrific - but the majority of those caught in the web of this injustice are found in the area of labor trafficking. They are found working in fields, on construction sites, in factories, or maybe even in your favorite neighborhood restaurant or the home of a neighbor. However, there is often an overlap of sex and labor trafficking, especially for women and children. 

The reality is this: we all have a slavery footprint whether we realize it or not. We have all played a role in the exploitation of other people by purchasing cheap goods and not verifying the ethics of the companies we are buying them from. 

So which industries are at high risk? Which goods should you pay closer attention to? 

According to the US State Department’s Trafficking In Persons Report 2014, there are four industries where trafficked persons have been frequently found, although this is just the tip of the iceberg. They are: Agriculture (Crops and Livestock), Fishing and Aquaculture, Logging, and Mining. I’m going to add a fifth - Fashion. All of these industries are not only breeding grounds for an exploited and/or trafficked labor force, but they have also proven to be unsustainable and promote environmental degradation. 

I’ll break it down for you, but would highly encourage you to take a look at the report. I would also recommend reading the Global Slavery Index

tractor_revivelifestyleblog

Agriculture (Crops and Livestock): 

  • Cotton
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Rubber
  • Rice
  • Tobacco 
  • Sugar
  • Palm Oil
  • Livestock
boats_revivelifestyleblog

Fishing and Aquaculture: 

  • Occurs on inland, coastal, and deep sea fishing vessels, as well as in shrimp farming and seafood processing. 
  • Countries where violations have occurred: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, along the coastline of sub-Saharan Africa, Norway, and in the territorial waters of countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific region, and New Zealand. 
lumber_revivelifestyleblog

Logging: 

  • One out of five people in the world relies directly upon forests for food, income, building materials, and medicine. 
  • Poorly regulated industry
  • Trafficking cases have occurred across Asia, Russia, Brazil, and Belarus. 
workingman_revivelifestyleblog

Mining: 

  • Mining often occurs in remote or rural areas with limited government presence, leaving individuals in mining communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia more vulnerable to forced labor and sex trafficking.
  • Countries where trafficking has been found include DR of Congo, Senegal, Angola, and Peru. 
  • Mining impacts multiple industries from Fashion (jewelry and accessories) to Technology. 
clothingrack_revivelifestyleblog

Fashion: 

  • With cotton being a high risk good and this industry being very labor intensive, the fashion industry has a huge impact on the demand for labor trafficking
  • The sourcing of raw materials and the fair treatment of workers in factories across the globe has been a huge challenge for this industry
  • 1 in 6 people work in the apparel industry with the majority living in developing countries. 
  • In addition to the risk associated with exploited/trafficked persons, the fashion industry is ranked as the 2nd most polluting industry in the world after oil.