Sometimes it’s important to pause and take note of how anti-trafficking efforts are having a positive impact. Many organizations are working tirelessly to expose injustice, change systems, and rescue victims. Here are some examples of progress we’re making as a global community.
TRANSFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Cambodia’s police have generally been known as “ineffective, untrained, and corrupt,” but this is starting to change. Many police officers are taking anti-trafficking training seriously and working with community members to fight exploitation. Cambodia’s court system has also been strengthened – judges and prosecutors are better trained and more child-friendly, giving the justice system more teeth to deal with trafficking cases. International Justice Mission has played a huge role in this.
MORE THAN A HAIRCUT
Hair stylists in Ohio are being trained to spot signs of trafficking. The State Cosmetology Board for Licensing requires all hair dressers to watch a one-hour training video and pass a quiz by January 2017. Since many trafficking victims have their hair and nails done (to look good for customers), hair stylists can play a role in spotting warning signs.
“When I first heard about [the training] I was like this is weird. We do hair. But after hearing it I. . .think this summer I had an instance where it happened and I’m like, oh my gosh I’m so glad we do this kind of thing.”
The CNN Freedom Project, the longest-running awareness and investigative campaign on modern slavery on a global news channel, has resulted in 1,000+ survivors receiving assistance and more than $24 million in donations to anti-trafficking organizations.
A DUAL BENEFIT
A program called the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative is training wounded US veterans in computer forensics to combat online child exploitation. They’ve trained almost 100 veterans in 3 years, and each veteran can prevent up to 50 children a year from being exploited. Not only does the program prevent sexual exploitation, but also gives injured veterans a mission back home.
Between April and December 2015, after a new slavery law was passed in the UK, 183 people were prosecuted for trafficking offences. This new record indicates that human trafficking cases are a priority and that prosecutors have the tools they need to hold traffickers to account.
Injustice looms large, but let us not lose heart. Stories of hope abound.