Take Action. Get Involved.
One of the biggest challenges in the fight against modern day slavery
within the United States is the lack of victim of identification. This
is largely in part due to a lack of awareness of the crime. When Americans
are aware of human trafficking, victims will stop being hidden in plain
view. Below are some strategies to empower the community to take action
and get involved:
1. CALL TO ACTION!
Presently Artists United For Social Justice is rallying signatures for funding for rehabilitation shelters for American Children victimized and trafficked for commercial sex. Please learn more about our petition and sign it here.
2. Spread the word!
Take the Presenter’s Kit on the road. Host mini-screenings at
your home, church, school, or place of work. Educate others and ask
them to purchase Presenter’s Kits. Remember, many of the victims
of trafficking in the United States, who have been certified, have been
rescued due to someone calling in a tip—we can increase the tips
with community awareness.
3. Put Pen to Paper!
Most people have forgotten the power of a good old fashioned letter
writing campaigns. They do work! Create a petition urging your local
police, first responders, and public service officers, code enforcement,
postal carriers, animal control etc., to have mandatory human trafficking
training. It is a fact that these individuals come in contact with victims
of trafficking and in many instances are unaware of the identifying
signs of human trafficking. Not only are they missing a chance to save
someone’s life, but they’re making it easier for traffickers
to manipulate victims by telling them that no one cares— allowing
traffickers to keep a strong-hold over their victims. Write your local
state legislators. Though the federal government has acknowledged the
crime of Human Trafficking and has created laws to assist in prosecuting
traffickers, many states are steps behind. It is up to the American
public to push for state legislators to make human trafficking a priority.
Contacting your state legislators at a high volume, will force them
to allocate monies for services for victims of trafficking as well as
strengthen state laws to prosecute traffickers.
CONTACTING STATE/FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
You can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or you can write: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. , Washington,
D.C. 20500 or call (202) 456-1414
Go to: www.senate.gov,
then click on your state, then click on the senators box. To write to
the other senators, you have to start over or click on the “back”
button, several times.
To write to your congressperson, go to: www.house.gov
and type in your zip code. If you do not know your 9 digit zip, enter
the five digits you do know and then click on “go.” It will
take you to the U.S. Postal Service site, which will give you the other
4 digits that you need. Write it down, then type in www.house.gov onto
your address bar again and fill in the last 4 digits, then click on
“go” again. Click on your representative’s name and
you will be taken directly to their web site. Then on their web page,
click on “Contact,” to get all of their information. Remember
to enter their e-mail address into your personal address book on your
computer, so that you only have to do this whole process once.
To find your state assembly person and state senator, go to: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov,
then click on “Your Legislature” and type in your zip, then
click on “Search.” You will get both your state and your
assembly member’s address. Click on your legislator’s name
and it will take you directly to your legislator’s web page. Under
“Capitol Address” at the bottom, you will find their e-mail
address, capitol address, etc. Now put their names in a group and when
a state issue comes up, you can e-mail them all at the same time to
let them know how you feel.
4. Spend your money wisely!
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Slave labor is
used to manufacture a large number of the goods we, in the United States,
purchase. If you want to stop the slave labor and trafficking, stop
being part of the demand. How do you do that? Make sure the products
you buy are coming from companies that are not using slave labor when
you purchase products that are manufactured from countries that are
gross contributors of human trafficking such as: India, China, Philippines
log onto: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
Read through the latest T.I.P report which lists the tier system for
countries that are taking action steps (or not) against human trafficking
5. Use your talents!
No matter what your ability, there is something that you possess like
no other person has—use that gift to provide support, outreach,
and a voice!
Volunteer with organizations that rescue and rehabilitate victims of
trafficking These individuals are usually mortified and alone. Getting
re-assimilated back into society can take months, even years. This is
where the aid of the community can be advantageous. Contact any of the
organizations featured in Cargo: Innocence Lost and find a local branch
near you via the Internet.
7. Let us know!
Share your ideas. If you think of more that can be done email us at
gladly post your ideas on our action campaign list. Eradicating human
trafficking is going to take a community effort so we welcome your suggestions.
How to recognize
The Red Flags
Evidence of being controlled i.e. rarely alone, seems to be under
constant surveillance, isolated or cut off from family and friends,
bruises, fear of speaking for themselves
Evidence of inability to move or leave a job
Persistent fear, depression, anxiety, submissive or stupor-like behavior,
signs of trauma
No passport or other identifying documentation
Excessive work hours, not free to take time off
Unpaid for work completed or paid very little
Lives with co-workers and “employer” – no privacy
Untreated illnesses and infections
Key screening questions to ask potential trafficking victims
What type of work do you do?
Are you being paid?
Can you leave your job when you need to?
Can you come and go as you please?
Have you or your family been threatened?
What is your working and living condition like?
Where do you sleep and eat?
Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
Are there locks on your doors/windows so you cannot get out?
Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
Do you have control of your documents?