I’ve been working with human trafficking survivors for many years now, and it’s been gratifying to see public awareness of the issue grow. When I first got involved, many people had never even heard of human trafficking and, if they had, were shocked to learn it happens in the US. Now, most people know it exists, which means the goal of an anti-trafficking op-ed has evolved from simply raising awareness to spelling out how to prevent trafficking in the first place, and how our government and society can help survivors.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and you probably read, watched or listened to at least a few stories about men, women and children who have been affected by trafficking. There are so many facets to this issue, and so many ways to convey the stories. Each of the op-eds below are told by brave human trafficking survivors who are now determined advocates, but their priorities and reasons for sharing their stories are very different.
Evelyn Chumbow argues on CNN.com that it’s time to turn compassion for survivors into action: Human trafficking survivor: ‘We need jobs, not pity’
Harold D’Souza explains in his local paper how to recognize signs of trafficking in your everyday life: Opinion: Know signs of labor trafficking
In an op-ed targeting political leaders, Bukola Oriola provides insight on how the new US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking will only be effective if it is fully supported by Congress and the Obama administration: Great step, but only first, for trafficking survivor empowerment