Today (11th January 2019) is National Human Trafficking Awareness day. Human trafficking comes in several different forms, including modern slavery, forced exploitation and sexual abuse. It is a violation of human rights, one of the most extreme forms of exploitation and persistently common. According to the United Nations, there are between 27 million and 30 million existing modern-day slaves.

“I never had my first dance, I never had my first innocent kiss, I never went to high school. But I did have an 85-year-old man die on top of me when I was 16 years old being trafficked in New York. I became heavily addicted to heroin, and heroin saved my life.” – Barbara Amaya.

Watch Barbara Amaya’s Ted Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_kXuQHZmWs

In order to raise awareness around Human Trafficking, here are some tips that help you to fight human trafficking as well as helping you to avoid becoming a victim of human trafficking.

  1. Learn the indicators of human trafficking so you can help identify a potential trafficking victim.
  2. Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community.
  3. Meet with and/or write to your local political councillor or MP to let them know you care about combating human trafficking, and ask what they are doing to address it.
  4. Host an awareness-raising event to watch and discuss films about human trafficking, such as investigative documentaries or explore online resources.

Indicators of human trafficking:

  • Living with employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped space
  • Inability to speak to individual alone
  • Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed
  • Employer is holding identity documents
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Submissive or fearful
  • Unpaid or paid very little
  • Under 18 and in prostitution

Source: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/index.htm

How to report Human Trafficking

  1. The Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential helpline for reporting modern slavery on 0300 3038 151.
  2. The Modern Day Slavery Foundation’s helpline on 0800 0121 700, open 24 hours a day.
  3. The NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 8005 000 if you think a child is in danger of trafficking.

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