Photo by Prixel Creative

It is a daunting issue. It is a current issue. It is an issue that is not going away on its own. Human Trafficking affects millions of people and sadly, is hidden away in the dark corners of society, operating under the noses of most citizens, in every country of the globe. Even yours.

Here in the United States, legal slavery has been abolished, but a vast criminal network still exists. Globally, it’s one of the most successful criminal money making endeavors today. While the task to breakdown the business may seem nearly impossible, there are many ways to make a difference to end the global issue for good. First, here are a few things about the issue of Human Trafficking to understand what this all really means.

Human Trafficking has many faces and many stories, all of them tragic and horrifying. Here is one example.

Sara grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father in India. When her mother decided to leave the abuse, she was told of a job available in Mumbai. She went to take that “job” and was sold into sexual slavery. This left Sara in an unstable family environment. Shortly thereafter, her father abandoned her and her grandmother grew ill and was unable to provide for her. Afraid she might have no option but enter the sex trade, either by force or by not having another way to provide for herself, she approached the people at in India. They were able to give her training for sewing, giving her a viable option for a trade. She was able to escape the traffickers but millions of others are not so lucky.

Most of these people suffer in silence. They have faces, names and rights. They are daughters and mothers, and siblings and children. They are human beings and they are sold and used like consumer goods.

In the face of this overwhelming problem, there are sparks of hope. People are taking notice, speaking up, and fighting this injustice! A difference is being made and the tide can be turned.

And, YOU, can be a part of it. Here are some ways you can help:

Educate yourself and share what you learn
Some great websites to get you started are Not for Sale, Polaris Project, and International Justice Mission. All of these organizations provide multifaceted solutions in the fight against Human Trafficking, from rescuing slaves, to lobbying governments, to providing after-care for victims, to prevention, and to providing job-training and education.

Join an organization making a difference
Get active. The above websites all have multi-faceted approaches in their fight against Human Trafficking, from prevention, advocacy, after-care programs and much more.

Use your purchasing power
Conscious businesses are multiplying around the world. When you buy from a fair-trade business you are ensuring that your money is going to support people fairly and not going to corporations using slave-labor. Some examples of companies caused based with beautiful products are Sudara, a line of beautiful loungewear made in India, Mulxiply, luxury gifts created in partnership with local artisans in Nepal, Purpose Jewelry, beautiful jewelry handcrafted by women in India.

Join in their campaign called #redlightwednesday
They are simply asking people to pause when stopped at a red light, and pray for those still trapped in Red-Light districts around the world.

You can make a difference. There is hope. Take time this year to delve a little deeper into this issue and join the fight to abolish slavery in this century.

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