Opinion

3 ways you can combat sex trafficking

It is estimated that 27 million slaves are being held worldwide, with the most common form being sexual exploitation of women and girls. What can be done about this global and complex problem? Here are three key ways that you can make a difference.

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3. Organize and take action

If you see genuine needs that you can help with that are not being covered by existing services, organize a team and a strategy with clear objectives. Your strategy should include partnerships with reputable organizations locally or globally to strengthen and coordinate interventions.

Approaches can include intervening in areas where women are trafficked from, through programs like education and micro-economic development to empower vulnerable populations and help with survivor re-integration. Other approaches can include intervening in areas where women are trafficked to, through services like raising awareness, education, advocacy, housing, counseling, legal assistance, and job training.

Reflect regularly on what is working, what is not working, and why. Build in a feedback system to partner organizations for continual learning, guidance, and accountability.

Triveni Acharya, winner of the 2008 Woman of Peace Award and president of Rescue Foundation told me, “Sex trafficking, or modern day slavery, is not only a criminal justice issue, but a human rights issue. It prevents women the freedom to make their own decisions, which is their fundamental right.” On International Women’s Day – and beyond – we should remember that we can all play a part in combating the sex trafficking that strips women of those rights.

Rodney Green is the program manager of the Collaboratory at Messiah College in Grantham, Penn. His is currently a candidate for a Masters in Science in Global Development Management from The Open University in Britain.

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