- A major way that we can prevent trafficking is by reducing the vulnerability of individuals in our communities. Speaking about preventing sex trafficking, Rabbi Rachael Bregman emphasized that vulnerability comes from invisibility—we cannot let people be invisible. She said, “Smile at the people on the street as if you are you are seeing the face of God because you are seeing the face of God. And they are seeing the face of God in you.”
- Look for the person who isn’t there. People who live in the margins of our social circles—the ones who don’t quite fit in—are much more susceptible to trafficking. Being more inclusive, mindful, and caring can fortify our communities and make trafficking less likely.
- Reduce demand. Don’t pay for sex. Don’t watch pornography.
- Become involved in anti-trafficking organizations. There are a large variety of organizations both local and international that need volunteers and financial support.
- Take Human Trafficking Awareness Training through the U.S. State Department. It takes about 20 minutes. (https://www.state.gov/j/tip/training/index.htm)
- Discover your slavery footprint at slaveryfootprint.org.
- Be an informed consumer. Familiarize yourself with goods that are produced through child labor and forced labor listed on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website. (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods)
- Choose one thing that caught your attention from your slavery footprint or on the Department of Labor’s website to either eliminate from your life or to be more conscientious about. Being a conscientious consumer may mean paying more for certain goods. (This shouldn’t be surprising–lowering consumer and production costs has been a pro-slavery argument for generations.) If the transition to ethically sourced goods is not financially feasible, it may mean going without certain comforts that we have become used to. In this way we are becoming part of a line of abolitionists who have given up common goods that are produced through slave labor.
- If your country has a human trafficking hotline, put the number in your phone. (For people in the United States, it is: National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888.)
- Hold a cottage meeting about trafficking.
Written by Elisabeth S. Weagel
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