There are so many ways to help fight slavery based on who and where you are.
For those local, I encourage you to read Central Valley Justice Coalition’s Go Forward Resource+Action Booklet for information on our local partner groups and their needs and action opportunities
GET CENTERED (ESSENTIAL)
1. seek God + examine yourself.
Seek God’s heart regarding justice and be open to how He wants to shape your own heart. How does He want to shape and change your own heart? The situation may seem overwhelming (even this list). Pray about how He wants you to respond.
Read His Word concerning God’s heart concerning justice and mercy and meditate on it, considering how He wants to expand your understanding of His heart and how He wants to shape you. (Such as Isaiah 58 and 61)
2. pray/ intercede
For all those who are affected by slavery. CVJC and all of our partners ask for prayer support. Use the information you find on slavery, on CVJC’s website and other sources, news reports and updates from organizations, as a prompt for prayer. You can also use CVJC’s prayer guide.
To end something with such as huge hold on our communities, we must believe and hope with expectation that through God’s power, the grasp of the enemy through oppression can and will be broken and transformation of lives and whole communities can happen. Read anything by Gary Haugin and other testimonies, as well as His promises in Scripture.
4. be informed.
-Visit the websites or contact organizations fighting human trafficking and learn more about what’s going on.
-Check out CVJC’s Resources sites for links to news, facts sheets, videos, and reports.
-Sign up for Central Valley Justice Coalition’s has a bi-monthly Justice E-newsletter with updates, upcoming events and opportunities, as well as those of other human trafficking response organizations.
-Check out books, movies, and other media on the subject . Hold screenings and discussions with others. Contact me for recommendations.
5. learn and use the national hotline.
Put this in your cellphone: 888-37373-888. The National Human Trafficking Hotline has been set up to help victims get help, answer questions, provide resources, take tips on suspected trafficking, and keep records of these reports. The hotline contacts local agencies based on the need.
6. Memorize the signs of human trafficking
When you know the indicators of a potential human trafficking victim, you can be the eyes in the community and a possible lifeline. Awareness is the key to rescue. If you suspect a human trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline for guidance as to what to do. Learn about the signs of human trafficking here.
EDUCATE AND EMPOWER
7. tell others
Share what you are discovering. Expose the truth about modern-day slavery. Remember- many people don’t even know that slavery still exists! Share your heart, what you know, and what you’ve experienced. Speak to your church and/or other group. Share on social media sites.
8. hang it up
Put up posters and brochures to get the word out that human trafficking exists here, how to recognize it, how to tell if one may be a victim, and what to do. These also lets victims know how to get help. Check out websites on this page to order free materials. In The Fresno area, Central Valley Justice Coalition and Centro La Familia also have materials available.
9. educate your professional agency
We need educational, medical, law enforcement, public assistance, social work, and other agencies, as well as churches, to be equipped. CVJC, Central Valley Against Human Trafficking, Centro La Familia, and other local group can provide training. (contact me for more information)
10. invest in those on the frontlines
Get connected with CVJC or other organizations working on the frontlines as well as those raising their voice for change. Support these organizations with your time, resources, heart, and creativity and enable them to make a difference. See CVJC’s list of organizations fighting trafficking locally.
11. volunteer locally.
Join with local human trafficking response organizations, or those that address human trafficking indirectly.
Organize activities with your church/ group or start a group, like a school club or a Justice group to address the issue in your area. For those in the Central Valley, you can contact us for assistance.
13. become a Freedom Church/ Participate in Freedom Sunday
If you are in the Central Valley, partner with CVJC as a Freedom Church to collaborate in human trafficking response activities.
All churches, however, are encouraged to participate in Not For Sale’s Freedom Sunday, a worldwide day to focus on human trafficking as a congregation.
Consider joining with an organization to do work overseas or other parts of the country.
15. help with prevention.
One of the best ways to end human trafficking is preventing it from happening. Seek resources and organizations to prevent human trafficking.
-One important way is to teach children in your family, your church, and your community what they need to help prevent child abuse, which often makes children more vulnerable to exploitation, and help educate your community on minor trafficking prevention. Go to keepyourchildsafe.org.
16. foster a child.
What does that have to do with fighting human trafficking? Lots. Many of the children who are preyed upon by traffickers are those who have fallen through the cracks of the foster care system. It is another form of prevention. Contact City Without Orphans or Families Together Foster Care Agency.
17. support foster parents
Maybe you can’t foster a child, but the child and the foster parents need a support system. Let your church be that support system for a foster child.
Encourage your church or groups on fostering children. Contact Families Together Foster Family Agency to provide support as a church community or to get support as a foster family or perspective family.
18. advocate for change.
Call or write your local, state, and national elected official. Tell them that you care about the issue of human trafficking and want stronger laws to protect victims. Handwritten letters are the most effective, if you are writing. Keep telling them.
Get help from http://www.polarisproject.org, http://www.freetheslaves.com, http://www.IJM.org on how to engage in political action and advocacy.
19. shape california law
Learn about the bills currently in the state legislature and consider calling your representatives to encourage them to support the bills.
CONSUME WISELY AND JUSTLY
Consider the products you buy and the changes you are willing to make to reject slave-made products and support fair labor.
20. use your smartphone to shop
Want to know if the company of a product you are considering has fair and just business practices? Download Not for Sale’s “Free 2 Work’ app on your iPhone and scan the barcode for a report. Visit their website for ratings. Look for fair trade on the Fair Trade Locator app.
21. ask companies to be slave free
Don’t like what you see? Hold businesses accountable and ask corporations to join the fight. At http://www.chainstorereaction.com you can easily email companies to tell them you want their products to be slave-free.
22. buy fair
Seek out and buy from fair trade, direct trade, and fair labor compliant companies and their products. These businesses are known to not use slave labor, but instead abide by fair business practices as required by the fair trade certification, such as fair wages, employee rights, and fair prices for purchases products.
Shop online for products that empower women and families around the world at http://www.globalloveshopping.blogspot.com
Check out “A Better World Shopping Guide” (Ellis Jones, New Society Publishers) to know where to shop.
Also, see our buying guide.
23. engage in cybervention.
Make sure trafficking does not happen on the internet. We won a huge victory when Craiglist took down their “Erotic services” section, which was being used by traffickers. However, there are other sites who allow erotic services posts that are likely being used by traffickers to sell women and chidren for sex, such as Backpage.com. Complain to the site and tell them to remove their erotic services section. Be a watch dog on these sites. Report child trafficking (i.e. post for “very young girls, underage girls, etc.) to the website with a complaint and to the National Hotline.
CONSIDER YOU SKILLS, TALENTS, GIFTS, AND OCCUPATION
What you are able to do is an asset. Consider how and contact the Central Valley Justice Coalition or another abolition organization to consider how your gifts may be used.
If you are a business owner consider these actions
24. hire survivors
Partner with the Central Valley Justice Coalition or agency helping survivors. Getting a job is an important step for surivivors.
25. ensure fair labor in your workplace
If you have fair business practices, you are part of the solution. Take a look at your vendors and choose to partner only with those who have fair business practices. -Encourage your CSR campaigns to focus on anti-slavery efforts.
26. donate your expertise/ services/ talents
Meet the needs of a human trafficking survivors and the organization caring for them. THESE ARE NOT THE ONLY IDEAS! Your trade may not be listed, but may be invaluable.
-Legal Assistance. This is needed for non-profits working with human trafficking survivors and the survivors themselves. Human Rights lawyers in particular.
-Medical Care. Help aftercare providers with medical assistance, physicals, etc.
-Tattoo Removal. Who would have thought? However, many pimps “brand” women as theirs. To remove this reminder of their past life is important for survivors.
-Health Education. Volunteer to present nutrition and health care education to survivors in aftercare.
-Job Skills Training. Assist survivors in learning how to build a resume and other needed job skills.
-Life Skills Training. Assist survivors in developing important life skills, like forming a basic budget, showing how to use public transportation, etc.
-Hair Dressing/ Beauty Services. Such service can be huge boost for possible victims and survivors. Partner with local groups, like CVJC to start a free outreach with beauty services or volunteer to provide such services to survivors in an aftercare facility.
Provide for SURVIVOR NEEDS
28. Contribute towards an Aftercare house. Several organizations, including Breaking The Chains and Christian In Action are working towards getting aftercare homes in the Central Valley.
29. Help with Transportation/ common tasks. In the process of starting a new life, help is needed in daily tasks.
USE YOUR LIFE
30. Make your space slave-free
Make sure your school campus/workplace is free of products made with slave labor.
31. do what you love.
Use your talents to fight slavery. Do an art project and display it in a public place. Use a sports event to raise awareness and funds for the issue. Talk about the issue at a concert, or make it a benefit for survivors. Film a movie on the issue.
If you are an artist/ fashion designer, contact MadeForThem to get involved in arts activities to raise funds for human trafficking work.
HELP END DEMAND
32. Join in outreach to those struggling with sexual addiction. Join with New Creation Ministries or To Know Him Ministries.
33. Encourage your community to address sexual addiction.
34. Take A Stand
Men are encouraged by Shared Hope International to become a Defender and take a pledge to not contribute to sex trafficking as well as help end demand in other ways.
Help ACROSS BORDERS
35. safeguard transportation.
Ask airlines to provide training manuals to all their flight attendants on how to watch for victims being trafficked. Find the manual at http://www.innocentsatrisk.org
36. show that tourism matters.
-Visit the Trafficking In Persons Report from the State Department at
Find out which countries are the worst trafficking offenders. Write a letter to their travel bureau and tell them you won’t visit the country until they address the issue.
-Ask travel agencies, hotels and tour operators to sign the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children in Travel and Tourism. ( http://www.thecode.org)
Get postcards at ecpatusa.org to send to these tourism companies to ask them to comply with the code of conduct.