August 15, 2023
Education is the most important step in understanding human trafficking. In order to end it, we need to understand how to prevent it, what it actually looks like in our communities, and what steps we can take to do more. Knowledge truly is power, and that power comes in the form of being able to recognize trafficking is happening right here. Here are some great resources we recommend to get started on your human trafficking education journey:
Like, share, follow and engage withanti-trafficking organizations on social media.
Social media provides a unique opportunity to be acutely aware of what is going on in our communities. Organizations like ours rely on our followers to spread the word and engage with us, and to let usknow what you are seeing in your neighbourhoods and networks. Sharing our posts and engaging with us helps spread awareness and reach people who may not otherwise find us.
Be a responsible consumer.
Do you know what countries your goods come from? The US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report puts countries in tiers for reporting purposes. The Department places each country in this Report into one of four tiers, as mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act(TVPA). This placement is based not on the size of the country’s problem but on the extent of governments’ efforts to meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking which are generally consistent with the Palermo Protocol.
“While Tier 1 is the highest ranking, it does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem or that it is doing enough to address the problem. Rather, a Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has made efforts to address the problem that meet the TVPA’s minimum standards. To maintain a Tier 1 ranking, governments need to demonstrate appreciable progress each year in combating trafficking” - 2019 Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report.
Guide to Tiers
Countries whose governments fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standardsfor the elimination of trafficking.
Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimumstandards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliancewith those standards.
Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so. No tier ranking is permanent. Every country, including the United States, can do more. All countries must maintain and continually increase efforts to combat trafficking.
Understanding where your goods and services come from is not an easy task, but it is an effective one. Be aware of goods and services from the countries that fall under Tier 3. The Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2023 listed those countries as Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, Burma, Cambodia, Chad, China, Cuba, Curacao, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Korea, Macau S.A.R.,Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Sint Maarten, South Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Venezuela.
There are apps and sites available that can help us all understand how intricately human trafficking is woven into our every day lives and how we are all unknowingly contributing to it. Some of the apps ranking highest are:
· Sweat & Toil– The Sweat & Toil app was created by the U.S. Departmentof Labor to inform consumers of items created through child labor or forcedlabor. The app also provides global child labor data, research on countries’efforts to eliminate child labor and a review of laws related to child andforced labor.
· Good On You – Good On You is another app that can increase humantrafficking awareness. This app is an effective way to hold fashion brandsaccountable. Good On You researches clothing companies and compiles theinformation into an easy-to-understand score. The scores are based oncompanies’ commitments to doing better by people, animals, and the earth. Thisincludes sustainability efforts, animal testing and the treatment of employees.This app enables consumers to make informed decisions on where they are purchasingclothes and increases brand transparency. If a brand does not appear on theapp, Good On You encourages users to reach out to them.
· The STOP APP– The STOP APP is the first app of its kind to combinecommunity empowerment, big data management and anti-trafficking expertiseto disrupt human trafficking. The STOP APP can be downloaded by anyone,anywhere in the world who has access to a smartphone. The app is anonymous,confidential and secure – it is available in 15 languages and allows you tosubmit suspicious activity quickly by sending text-based messages and uploadingphotos and videos.
Donate to organizations who work with victims and survivors of human trafficking.
We literally cannot do this work without you. Donations to ACT Alberta go directly to victim and survivor costs, such as safe housing, transportation,counselling, basic needs, food and clothing. ACT Alberta’s Survivors Fund bypasses all administrative costs so that 100% of the donation goes to the survivor. There are many other organizations doing amazing work as well and we as a community can help!
Host a third-party fundraiser.
Hosting a third-party fundraiser is a fantastic way to give back and have some fun while you are at it! Many organizations support this to expand their reach and raise funds, especially if they don’t have the capacity or funding to host events of their own. ACT Alberta has a Third-Party Fundraising Kit with printable resources and ideas available to download on our website.
Contact Us to find out more!