My Experience with Human Trafficking

Human trafficking.

These are two words that should never be in the same sentence together, but yet it’s a $150 billion dollar industry with more than 40 million people still in slavery.

According to A21, only 1% are ever rescued.

The first time I heard of human trafficking was in 2011 right after I graduated college. A friend and I had rented the movie, The Whistleblower from a Redbox.

I watched the movie in horror, but what shocked me didn’t come until the end.

The end credits began with, “Based on a True Story” and proceeded to give updates on Kathryn Bolkovac, the Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex trafficking scandal.

I couldn’t believe this actually happened! Once I became aware of the issue, I knew I wanted to help.

While living in New York City, I attended Hillsong Church. One of the pastors, Christine Caine founded a nonprofit focused on ending human trafficking. That organization is A21.  I participated in the NYC A21 Walk for Freedom walking the streets of Manhattan with black tape covering my mouth. What an incredible experience to witness hundreds of New Yorkers looking at you funny and then reading the signs we were carrying with facts about human trafficking.

Do you remember Ashton Kutcher’s emotional speech where he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, providing his recommendations to end trafficking? Kutcher co-founded an organization called Thorn dedicated to creating tools to defend children from sexual abuse. I was fortunate to attend Thorn’s Hackathon where volunteers came together to brainstorm ways to prevent sex trafficking.

In honor of Human Trafficking Month, I wanted to share a few of the amazing organizations I’ve supported and worked with over the years working tirelessly to end trafficking. #EndHumanTrafficking

  • Thorn
    • ABOUT: We join forces with the sharpest minds from tech, non-profit, government and law enforcement. We work to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material and stand up to child traffickers. We’re also uncovering new kinds of abuse, and fighting those too. #DefendHappiness
    • HQ: San Francisco
    • Get involved with Thorn here.

 

  • A21
    • ABOUT: We are a nonprofit organization fueled by radical hope that human beings everywhere will be rescued from bondage and completely restored. We are the abolitionists of the 21st century. We work with you to free slaves and disrupt the demand.
    • A21 has offices all over the world.
    • Get involved with A21 here.

 

  • Unseen
    • ABOUT: At Unseen, we are passionate about equipping these rescuers with the tools and support they need to grow so they can offer more help to the forgotten—the unseen. This work cannot be done alone, and our team works as a resourcing tool for in-country organizations. We use practical projects to help tell the stories of each mission, while using fundraising training and coaching to encourage and empower each organization to engage and grow their own donor base.
    • We believe fundraising and storytelling is vital to mission growth, but understand how discouraging and easy to neglect it can be, especially to those in the field. We’re here to bridge the gap.
    • HQ: Fargo, North Dakota
    • Get involved with Unseen here.

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