Teen Vogue: 5 Ways You Can Start Fighting Human Trafficking Today

In recognition of the United Nations’ World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Victoria Erdel explains five ways you can help put an end to human trafficking.

In this op-ed, founder and host of The Trafficking Dispatch, a student-run anti-trafficking podcast, Victoria Erdel maps the history of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and explains five ways you can help put an end to human trafficking.

Today is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. In 2013, the United Nations (UN) chose July 30 as the day to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.” But before working toward these goals, it’s important to understand whose rights this day aims to protect.

The act is the crime that is committed, like recruiting, transporting, and receiving trafficking victims. The means are how traffickers commit these crimes, whether it’s by using force, fraud, or coercion, or abusing and paying for a victim of trafficking. Finally, the purpose is the reason why victims are exploited. These include — but aren’t limited to — the prostitution of others and other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor, forced organ removal and transplants, and the use of child soldiers.
The victims are people who are sold for sex, physical labor, or body parts without consent, because they lack alternative options that give them the freedom to choose. There are different estimates of the number of victims in the world today, but virtually all sources agree that it’s in the millions — millions of people, on almost every continent, in every country, in remote and densely populated areas. People of all ages, races, genders, classes, nationalities, and faith traditions can be victims, but some groups are more vulnerable than others.

So what can we do about this? As a young anti-trafficking advocate, I have drawn upon personal experience and expert advice to compile five things that we can start doing on July 30th.

Read the full article here 

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