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Many may think of slavery as just a dark spot in human history, an atrocity existing solely in the past. The reality is, however, that there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. It’s a startling and tragic truth; an injustice that cuts to one’s very core. Human trafficking, the trade of humans as possessions to be controlled or exploited, can best be described as a form of modern day slavery.

The numbers are staggering, with an estimated 27 million people living in bondage all over the globe. It’s the world’s fastest growing criminal industry and, sadly, only one to two percent of victims are ever rescued. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the problem, but thankfully there are many people who are living with the hope that a difference can be made and slavery can be abolished.

Currently, I work with The A21 Campaign, an organization that exists to abolish injustice in the 21st century. Through prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships, A21 aims to raise awareness, build shelters and transition homes for victims rescued out of slavery and strengthen the legal response to human trafficking. One of the most valuable things that I am learning from A21 is that though the problem of human trafficking may seem overwhelming, there is reason to rejoice when even just one person finds freedom. Though it might only be one person, that one was certainly worth fighting for.

…though the problem of human trafficking may seem overwhelming, there is reason to rejoice when even just one person finds freedom.

I have also learned how impactful a committed group of passionate people can be. It’s so easy to feel as though the issue of human trafficking is much too big to solve. It truly is a tremendous problem, but there is so much power in action — in doing something no matter how small that action may seem.

If human trafficking is an issue that moves you, then use your skills, your creativity and your passions to help end it. The A21 Campaign offers many opportunities to get involved, and there may be many other organizations operating out of your specific area. Do research. Educate yourself and use your voice. Volunteer. Raise awareness by doing whatever it is that you do best. If you are a runner, run a marathon for the cause. If you are an artist, create pieces that will ignite a conversation. If you are a fabulous hostess, throw a fundraising dinner. The possibilities are truly endless, and as trite as it may sound, you really can make a difference. No one is equipped to tackle the problem alone, so let’s do it together as a global community.

Do you know of any organizations helping to end human trafficking? Share in the comments below.

Image via Marlena Pearl Photography

22 comments

  1. I am an admin volunteer at the National Freedom Network in South Africa. Vision – To serve as a National Freedom Network against human trafficking & exploitation
    Mission Statement – To more effectively and comprehensively respond to the problem of human trafficking and exploitation through prevention, prosecution, protection and partnership.
    We want to help NPOs connect and communicate with one another, to share resources and fight this scourge.
    We want to resist HT, rescue those in HT, restore hope and value to those rescued, return them home safely and help reintegrate them into a healthy lifestyle.

    I am passionate about making a difference and look forward to being more effective as I learn more.

  2. Our NGO, Slavery Today, is an on-line education library for all levels of information on modern slavery, from the person just wanting basic information to professionals in all fields who may encounter trafficking and trafficking victims to professionals actively involved in anti-trafficking work.
    We have a professional, peer-reviewed journal that provides research on all facets of anti-slavery work and variations.
    In addition to training info and research, our website has contact information for many organizations that do great work in combating these issues.

  3. Used my 55 birthday as a means to bring awareness and raise funds for Fierce Freedom – our local nonprofit working to educate and equip individuals, organizations, and communities to the abolishment of human trafficking. Old friends and new friends shopped and/or contributed – and I raised just over $1370! Other things like awareness and changed hearts can’t be measured! It goes on and on.

  4. Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation is an Australian grassroots charity that reaches out to kids in crisis throughout Vietnam. Blue Dragon works to help with a variety of social problems which includes working with victims of human trafficking and slavery.
    They work with the local community to educate, bring freedom to victims and long term counselling, as well as charging the traffickers.
    Check them out http://www.bluedragon.org/

  5. I love the hope in this article! “I have also learned how impactful a committed group of passionate people can be.” My passion is gathering women in community, and I’ve used that to create an annual retreat called Winsome where we share the mission of Freeset as well as other organizations that are fighting human trafficking. I’ve also launched “Five-Fifteen” to mobilize women to pray for justice and healing for the victims and to support the organizations that are fighting on the front lines.

    http://www.five-fifteen.org
    http://freesetglobal.com
    http://aramintafreedom.org
    http://www.mission14.org

  6. Just ran a half marathon to fundraise for the Somaly Mam foundation which rescues and rehabitates girls in Cambodia.

  7. I’m creating multimedia stories in science fiction and fantasy genres, and the proceeds from subscriptions to my first title (soon to launch) will be dedicated to the A21 Campaign. I know, webcomics and short films are not the *first* thing that comes to mind when trying to change the world 🙂 but I wanted to offer what I have, raise awareness, and make it easy for readers to use a bit of their entertainment budget to make a difference.

    Our escapism can free others.

  8. Selah Freedom of Sarasota, FL exists to confront the issue of sex trafficking and exploitation through advocacy, training and restorative services.

  9. We are a newer non profit organization also involved in the fight against human trafficking. Right now our main focus in on awareness training.

  10. REST – Real Escape from the Sex Trade in Seattle. We are on the streets, in bikini barista stands, and operate a restorative housing program to take exploited girls in.

  11. The magnitude of trafficking is truly heartbreaking! But it is encouraging to know that so many people truly desire to make a difference in any way that they can. It’s true. We can all do something, even if it feels small. Every single life is worth saving. There is a lovely selection of elegant tees that are all sewn by survivors of trafficking over at http://www.elegantees.com. I think you’d enjoy checking it out!

  12. What a beautiful article! ” Though it might only be one person, that one was certainly worth fighting for.” Such a powerful piece – thanks for writing it!

    I started a boutique that works with different organizations that are helping to end human trafficking as well as other things (like helping those with AIDS in Ethiopia, marginalized women in Cambodia, etc). My vision is to have a marketplace that sells beautiful high quality products that are making a difference in the world – it has been a fabulous journey discovering new places that are doing amazing things help others!

  13. Prax(us) and iEmpathize are two fantastic organizations in Colorado helping to fight human trafficking.

  14. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. The inhumanity that persists in the form of slavery and abuse is horrifying and should ignite a “holy” anger. The injustices committed are beyond compare and yet the healing power is available within each knowledgeable individual. Each of carries a voice and a sphere of influence with whom we may share our understanding of modern atrocities.

    http://www.onebrassfox.com

  15. The Touch A Life Foundation also inspires others to advocate on behalf of trafficked and vulnerable children around the world. They provide holistic long-term child care in Ghana, Vietnam, and Cambodia. They are an incredible organization, providing housing, education and LOVE to rescued child slaves.

    http://www.touchalifekids.org/

  16. I work with a few: Traffick Free Pomona, Christians Actively Demolishing Slavery, Forgotten Children / Rachel’s House, & San Bernardino Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation, all in So. California Inland Empire. I’ve also taken a training by Carissa Phelps / Runaway Girl.

  17. GEMS(www.gems-girls.org) is a great org in NYC and IJM does great work across the globe

  18. Traffick Jam is a new group founded to bring an end to human trafficking. Based in Canada we are raising awareness and promoting a New model against prostitution in Canada based on the successful swedish model.

    Thank you for your efforts in this fight! Slavery was abolished once and we Can do it again!

  19. Thanks for writing this reminder. Shocking, and a something we cannot turn a blind eye to.

  20. REST is a great organization in Seattle working towards the freeing of many in the community. The Set Free Movement and EndIt are a couple more. There is one in Athens, Greece called Nea Zoi. I just got back from a trip to Athens working with victims and being a support to that organization.

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