January 2024 is designated as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It’s not just a date on the calendar, but a call to action.
Human trafficking is a horrifying crime that directly violates human rights. For over a decade, leaders in the U.S. have recognized it as a threat to our nation and a serious infringement upon our human rights. In order to resolve this problem, we need a collective effort from the community. While it may be a challenging topic to tackle, we must serve as the voice for those who have been silenced.
National Human Trafficking Prevention Month is an initiative aimed at educating the public and encouraging their involvement in preventing and responding to this issue. It creates a conversation for people to have within their workplace, school, and home. By raising awareness on this important conversation and providing resources for survivors, we can help prevent human trafficking and protect innocent victims from this crime.
So, join us as we explore the history behind National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and how you can get involved in January 2024 to help out!
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking, often referred to as modern-day slavery, is a heinous crime used to exploit individuals. It typically involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit individuals for labor or sexual servitude. This deeply unsettling issue not only challenges our nation’s core principles of freedom and personal autonomy but also poses a significant threat to public safety. It happens in communities of all ages, races, genders, or nationalities across the globe–including in the United States.
Given that many people’s understanding of human trafficking is often shaped by movies or the news, they may not fully grasp the reality of human trafficking occurring across the United States on a daily basis. Globally, more than 27.6 million individuals, including both children and adults, fall victim to human trafficking.
Despite the disheartening statistics, the United States has joined other countries in actively taking a stance against human trafficking. By enforcing anti-trafficking laws, the United States has been able to take down numerous human trafficking stings in the past decades. The government is actively combating human trafficking by implementing the “3P” paradigm:
- Preventing the crime
- Protecting victims
- Prosecuting traffickers
History of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
More than 20 years ago, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to combating human trafficking both domestically and internationally. In 2010, President Obama was the first president to proclaim January as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.” Since then, every single president in office has upheld that tradition.
Each year, the U.S. Department of State actively participates in this awareness campaign by organizing fundraising events, sharing resources, and providing survivors a platform to share their stories. Additionally, this month is dedicated to celebrating the collaborative efforts of governments, organizations, law enforcement, survivor advocates, and concerned citizens worldwide. It serves as a reminder that when we come together as a community, we can make a bigger impact.
About Human Trafficking Prevention Month
National Human Trafficking Prevention Month takes place during the month of January each year. It aligns with International Anti-Human Trafficking Day, which falls on January 11th, to acknowledge the efforts made globally to combat this issue. Both initiatives share the common objective of informing and engaging the public in the fight against human trafficking. Through collaboration with numerous organizations and government agencies, this annual awareness campaign focuses on educating the public in three key areas:
- Recognizing the signs of human trafficking
- Providing guidelines for safe reporting procedures
- Offering resources to support victims
While some individuals may acquire educational information about human trafficking through news reports or training programs, others might become informed through social media campaigns, books, or conversations with others. This diversity of communication underscores the critical importance of raising public awareness about the realities of human trafficking. No one expects to become a victim themselves. In short, January is dedicated to being deliberate about human trafficking prevention education, fostering a vigilant community of individuals committed to combating human rights violations.
How You Can Help
While it can feel quite hopeless trying to figure out how you can help fight against human trafficking, there are numerous small yet impactful actions you can take to make a difference. National Human Trafficking Prevention Month is an opportunity for you to get involved and participate in the fight against this serious crime.
- Raise awareness on social media: By using relevant hashtags like #HumanTraffickingAwareness, #EndModernSlavery, or #HumanTraffickingPrevention, you can help spread accurate information regarding human trafficking with your online community. Being an ambassador for the issue on social media opens up opportunities for others to interact with your content, provides a platform for individuals to share their stories, and educates others on how to stay safe.
- Support non-profit organizations: Donating to non-profit organizations that are dedicated to combating human trafficking, like Bridging Freedom, can help provide them with the financial resources to continue their work. It allows them to provide vital services to survivors, like accommodations and counseling, and work to prevent trafficking through education and advocacy.
- Participate in local events: Whether you choose to volunteer with anti-trafficking groups or even host fundraisers to support the cause, every effort contributes to the collective mission. A united and engaged community has the power to influence policy changes and set an example for others to follow.
Our team serves as an advocate for restoring stolen childhoods in the State of Florida. At Bridging Freedom, we work to combat domestic minor sex trafficking through our restoration programs for rescued victims by providing therapeutic safe homes. Aside from providing services for victims, Bridging Freedom aims to educate the local community about the horrors going on behind closed doors. If you would like to be a part of our group of supporters, then we encourage you to donate online at the webpage here.