Polaris + United Way
During Human Trafficking Awareness Month Polaris and United Way are reflecting on how current compounding crises – the global health pandemic, staggering unemployment rates, systemic racism and economic inequities – are having a profound impact on human trafficking across the United States. What we have long understood, but are seeing now more clearly than ever, is that human trafficking doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is the end result of a range of other persistent injustices and inequities in our society and our economy. In order to prevent human trafficking, we must dismantle the systems that allow human trafficking to exist in the first place.
To spread the word, Polaris and United Way have created shareable graphics and sample messaging. We encourage you to share these on social media to help educate friends and family on the compounding societal issues that can lead to human trafficking. Also consider linking to the above blog and using #
Fighting Racism is Fighting Human Trafficking
Did you know that people of color are disproportionately victimized by both sex and labor trafficking in the United States.
Racism fuels policies that have stunted economic opportunity for people of color for generations – and poverty is a key risk factor for #humantrafficking.
Stereotypes that dehumanize Latino workers or over-sexualize Black women and girls pave the way for human traffickers. This makes it easier to normalize abuse & harder to identify victims.
Fighting LGBTQ+ Discrimination is Fighting Human Trafficking
Young people who identify as LGBTQ+ often struggle with families and communities who do not accept them for who they are. In some cases, these young people leave or are kicked out of their homes. Traffickers step in offering food, shelter, or a sense of belonging and emotional support.
Safe & Affordable Housing is Fighting Human Trafficking
An unstable housing situation is a key risk factor for human trafficking. Traffickers understand this as well, often scoping out shelters for potential victims to exploit. Traffickers promise safety, comfort and stability for individuals and families who have nowhere else to turn. These vulnerable individuals are then forced to work or provide sexual services, or once again be faced with living on the streets.
Workers’ Rights & Empowerment is Fighting Human Trafficking
To prevent labor trafficking from happening, let’s make sure that:
- Workers know their rights ✅
- Governments enforce laws to protect these rights ✅
- Businesses are held accountable for any violations ✅
The Best Defense Against Human Trafficking is Healthy Families & Strong Communities
What’s the best way to reduce the volume of sex and labor trafficking in the United States? Prevent it from happening altogether by taking away traffickers’ most powerful weapon: Human need.
Providing emotional support and material resources people need to live happy and productive lives ➡️ disarms traffickers. Human trafficking is everyone’s problem, and everyone is also part of the solution. Spend time learning how you can help.