by Dillon Burroughs and Charles Powell
There is no perfect list of things you can do to make America slavery-free, but here we offer a few specific ideas to help you create positive change where you live. Many more ideas to combat trafficking are found in chapter 10 of Not in My Town.
Not many of you are ready to move to D. C. to change national policy or travel to Southeast Asia to free slaves. The good news is that you don’t have to! You, along with others, can work from where you are to help create a slave-free community, county, state, country, and world.
Reflect on these ideas and others, and do something. You can’t do everything, but the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Host an Event or Speaker
We both speak across the nation on the issue of human trafficking and can be contact through our Web site (http://www.mercymovement.com/) for further details. However, an event about trafficking does not require our presence. A local nonprofit leader, law enforcement officer, or other expert could be what you need to inform and inspire your audience to act.
You can combine your efforts with other national initiatives, such as the annual Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk (http://www.sctnow.org/) to raise funds to stop modern slavery. (The SCT walks are occurring in September/October 2011.)
Buy Fair-Trade Products
Simply put, fair-trade products have a variety of stipulations that root out any slave labor, guaranteeing the product is 100 percent free of slave labor. We support and encourage you to support fair-trade products whenever possible in your purchases.
One organization we specifically recommend is WorldCrafts. Its mission is to bring hope to impoverished people around the world, and its Set1Free campaign highlights artisan groups working against trafficking (prevention and rescue). WorldCrafts is nonprofit and a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
One writer has noted that about 1 in 3 of those rescued from trafficking in America have been so because an ordinary person saw something and acted. In some cases, it was noticing someone who lived at a place of employment and could not leave. At other times, actions have been more direct, involving assistance to a person fleeing for help and providing a route of escape. At the very least, report suspicious activities to your local authorities as well as to the national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-3737-888, operating 24/7 in English and other languages.
It has been said that Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This may be even truer regarding the prevention of human trafficking. Some areas you can get involved in that could keep future individuals from trafficking include:
- Services to runaway and homeless teenagers
- Refugee services
- Ministries and education to ethnic groups, including conversational English classes
- Outreach to female juvenile detention centers or prisons
- Your local chamber of commerce (to help stand against local businesses that support trafficking and adult services)
- Journalism (speak out against trafficking)
- Music and other creative arts (supporting the fight against trafficking through awareness at concerts, art galleries, and other events. For example, see musician Natalie Grant’s TheHomeFoundation.net. Or Kathi Macias and her “Freedom” series of novels.)
Adapted from Not in My Town: Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery. The book includes a small-group discussion DVD and guide.
An extensive list of resources, including other organizations involved in the fight against modern slavery, can be found at the end of Not in My Town. The following list includes resources related to trafficking found on the New Hope Digital (NHD) site, as well as some US government Web links. Many of these articles and podcasts contain additional helpful links. I would also commend CNN’s Freedom Project as a helpful multimedia resource.—Editor
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking
US Department of State, Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
NHD Articles and Columns:
Publisher’s blog by Andrea Mullins
(“The Two Greatest Institutions for Human Exploitation”)
Voices columns by Charles Powell
(“Trafficked Adult Women Need Our Attention and Action;” “Three Things You Can Do Now to Fight Trafficking;” “International Trafficking 101”)
Voices columns by Dillon Burroughs
(“From Haiti to Not in My Town;” “More Ways to Stop Human Trafficking in Your Community”)
Voices columns by Kathi Macias
(“The Face of Human Trafficking;” “The Church Must Stand Against Modern Slavery Worldwide”)
And, read Kathi’s compelling new novel about human trafficking, Deliver Me from Evil. (A book club discussion guide is now available for this book.) Book 2 in the “Freedom” series has recently been released as well, Special Delivery.
Voices columns by Mark Russell
(“Sexploitation: The Economics of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking;” “Christian Responses to the Economics of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking;” “The Economics of Human Empowerment”)
Editor’s columns by Randy Bishop
(“Declaring War on Modern Slavery;” “Human Exploitation”)
“27 Million Slaves Exist Today” by Randy Bishop
“Prayer to Abolish Human Trafficking” by Edna Ellison
“Hope Lights the Faces of children Rescued from Trafficking” by Melody Maxwell
“Interview: Sandra Johnson, Triad Ladder of Hope Founder (Ministry to Trafficking Victims)” by New Hope Digital
“Human Trafficking Demands a Coordinated Response from Churches” by Kelly King
“Stand for Orphans and Stand Against Human Trafficking” by Rick Morton
“Kanzi Gives Back to Help Children in Need” by Katelyn George
“You Are God’s Instrument” by Sheryl Churchill
“New Hope Digital Art Forum” by David Dinkins
Andrea Mullins: WorldCrafts Changes Lives Through Fair Trade
Charles Powell: Fighting Slavery in America
Chong Kim: A Trafficking Survivor’s Dramatic Story
Dillon Burroughs: A Look at International Human Trafficking
Dillon Burroughs: Aftercare for Trafficking Victims in the US
Dillon Burroughs: I’ve Looked into the Eyes of a Modern Slave
Kathi Macias: Confronting Modern Slavery Through Missional Fiction
Kelly King: Fighting Human Trafficking in Her Town
Mark Russell: Fair Trade and Human Exploitation
Ron Ruthruff: Kids on the Street
WorldCrafts Thailand & Cambodia Tour