10 ways to help end human trafficking

1. Become a conscientious consumer.

Calculate how many slaves work to create the goods that you consume with Slavery Footprint. At the end of the survey, you will be given an estimate of your impact on the demand for coerced labor. You will also have an opportunity to send messages to the companies whose products you consume, to request that they make an effort to eliminate forced and child labor from their supply chains.

Download the Made in a Free World app to check in at stores as you shop, and ask your favorite brands to investigate their supply chains.

Visit the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs website for a list of goods and source countries which use forced or child labor.

2. Own a business? Eradicate forced labor from your supply chain.

Made in a Free World has created the first user-friendly assessment tool that identifies the risk of forced labor in supply chains. The software offers business owners strategies for leveraging their purchasing power to eliminate forced and child labor from their supply chains.

Not a business owner? Ask your favorite companies to use Made in a Free World’s assessment tool, and eliminate slave labor from the products you love. While you’re there, send a message of support to companies who are already using the tool.

3. Donate!

Thankfully, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for combatting human trafficking. But there is always a need for more funding to help organizations fighting trafficking to keep up the good work. Truly, every dollar helps. Click here to donate to USCRI’s anti-trafficking program, which partners with local organizations who serve trafficking survivors. To search for organizations operating in your community, visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) website.

4. Purchase fair trade products and items made by trafficking survivors.

When shopping for goods like coffee, tea, produce, wine and spirits, apparel and body care products, choose those marked with the Fair Trade Certified label. Every purchase matters. Visit Fair Trade USA’s website for lists of products and partners by category.

A number of organizations sell products crafted by survivors of trafficking on their behalf, including Fair Girls and Nomi Network.

5. Intern at or volunteer with a local anti-trafficking organization.

Visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) website to search for organizations operating in your community

6. Are you a student? Take action at your school or on your campus.

Join or establish a club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. For tips on how to organize, visit MTV’s Against Our Will Campaign website.

7. Host an awareness or fundraising event.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month – a great time to host an awareness event! Invite friends to a home screening of a documentary, or if you are a student or a member of a club, plan a fundraising event. Not My Life, a documentary that depicts human trafficking worldwide, has a tool kit for hosting an event.

Publicize your event on the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)’s Events Calendar by emailing events@polarisproject.org or visiting their events submission page.

8. Support prevention strategies.

What does preventing human trafficking look like? Prevention can seem like a very abstract concept, since any number of circumstances can make a person vulnerable, including poverty, homelessness, youthfulness, or simply being new to a community. So, any activity that strengthens communities and reduces vulnerabilities can help prevent human trafficking. Choose an effort that speaks to your heart, whether it be supporting your local Boys and Girls Club, tutoring at a local youth organization, supporting immigrants’ rights organizations, or volunteering at your local food bank.

9. Talk, talk, talk.

So, you care about ending modern slavery? Make sure everyone knows. Use your social media presence to share what you’ve learned about human trafficking and what you’re doing to help end slavery. #endtrafficking and #humantrafficking are active hashtags used by advocates and concerned community members.

Contact your representatives in Congress. Use these websites to find your Senators and your representative and let them know that this is an issue that you care about, and that you would like to see funding allocated to. Local legislation matters, too. So meet with or write to your local and state representatives, and ask what they are doing to address human trafficking in your area.

10. Stay informed.

Sign up for updates from the frontlines, and action alerts, from USCRI and the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST). We’ll do the leg work of keeping tabs on legislation and funding that combats human trafficking, and let you know when  your voice is needed the most.