During the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January, emphasis is placed on creating awareness about human trafficking and the great human rights violation that it is. Human trafficking, and other forms of modern-day slavery, take place in various parts of the world, where people are sold for labor, sex, or anything else the buyers require. Spread awareness throughout January about the global crisis so people can contribute in any way to rescuing the victims, catching and prosecuting the perpetrators, and improving the lives of the survivors.
History of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
According to the official definition given by the U.S. Department of Defense, human trafficking is a crime in which force, fraud, or coercion, is used to compel a person to perform labor, services, or commercial sex. Since the practice takes place across the world and affects all populations and economic classes, spreading awareness is the key to ending the crime. This is why January was declared National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in 2010.
Since then, the month has been recognized for bringing to light the facts related to human trafficking. It also exposes how violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics are used to fool people into performing tasks against their will or for no pay. On December 30, 2011, President Obama stated: “Human trafficking endangers the lives of millions of people around the world, and it is a crime that knows no borders. Trafficking networks operate both domestically and transnationally, and although abuses disproportionally affect women and girls, the victims of this ongoing global tragedy are men, women, and children of all ages.”
The real significance of the month has origins in the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, which freed 3.1 million slaves. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (T.V.P.A.) of 2000 also made official the commitment of the U.S. to eliminating global modern slavery. National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month also celebrate anti-trafficking organizations and state and local law enforcement.
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month timeline
The Executive Order ‘Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts’ is issued.
The first convening of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking takes place.
The State Department launches its largest anti-trafficking program.
A government website on human trafficking is launched.
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month FAQs
Is human trafficking a form of slavery?
Yes, it is. Human trafficking is considered a modern form of slavery.
What is the color for human trafficking?
Blue is internationally recognized as the universal color for human trafficking prevention. Join and support the nationwide awareness campaign by wearing the color blue, taking photos, and posting on social media.
What day is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day?
January 11 has been designated by the U.S. Senate as the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.
How to Observe National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Meet a survivor
To truly understand human trafficking and the trauma faced by victims, meet a survivor and discover their story. Don’t stop there, support their recovery and reintegration into society by donating what you can.
Use the hashtag
Post a status or update your story with the appropriate hashtag. Ask people to repost and use the same hashtag to make the topic trend.
Volunteer with credible organizations
Since many organizations help human trafficking victims, volunteer to raise funds that may serve the cause. Help by offering whatever relevant skills you have.
5 Serious Facts About Human Trafficking
Forced sexual exploitation
At least 4.8 million people worldwide are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Each year, 4.1 million people are trafficked for forced labor globally.
The majority of victims
Women and girls are victims 70% of the time.
The impact on children
One million children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
Profit for traffickers
Human trafficking earns global profits of roughly $150 billion a year.
Why National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is Important
It creates awareness
The month creates awareness regarding human trafficking and the different channels. This helps people avoid possible traps.
It helps the victims
The month helps the victims in many ways. It pushes for an increase in laws against trafficking and the development of initiatives that could end it.
It increases donations
Since the month provides information on the alarming realities of slavery and human trafficking, numerous people end up donating to the cause. The awareness campaigns also serve to point prospective donors to the right organizations.
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month dates