Advocate for Change

Our awareness raising page provides information to help you learn about human trafficking and share that knowledge with your community.  In addition to awareness-raising, advocating for concrete change is crucial in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Civil society organizations working to end trafficking sometimes ask for the public to sign petitions or call your representatives to express support for their advocacy efforts.  Subscribing to newsletters of organizations you support is a good way to learn about these opportunities.  Additionally, some organizations have running campaigns, for example:

  • Freedom United runs anti-trafficking campaigns on a wide range of issues. Explore their website and sign on to a petition on a topic you are passionate about.
  • Polaris is a leading U.S. based anti-trafficking NGO. They have several opportunities for you to lend your voice to their campaigns.

Below is information on advocacy around specific human trafficking issues:

Prison Labor

To learn more about prison labor, please visit our prison labor page which has a curated set of resources.

Senator Merkley and Representative Williams introduced the Abolition Amendment ahead of Juneteenth.  Consider taking action and asking your Congressmembers to co-sponsor and  pass the Amendment.

If you are interested in advocating on this topic, consider signing Freedom United’s petitions on this topic.  They currently have two active campaigns:

    • Amend the 13th: Outlaw slavery in the United States:
      The United States must outlaw slavery once and for all by striking the “Exception Clause”, also known as the “Punishment Clause”, from the US Constitution and from state constitutions. The Punishment Clause has been a blight on the US for over 100 years, creating an economic incentive for increasing incarceration rates and using incarcerated people as a source of cheap, exploitable labor. Demand all states explicitly outlaw slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and for US Congress to pass the Abolition Amendment to strike the Punishment Clause from the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution.
    • Divest from the U.S. prison and detention industry:
      For too long the United States public and private industry has gotten away with exploiting labor from incarcerated people and immigrant detainees, often earning massive profits in the process, at worst under threat of penalty or punishment. We won’t accept this system of exploitation that in some cases is tantamount to modern slavery. Call on all sectors to divest and cut contracts with abusive facilities and reform contracting so that incarcerated people and immigrant detainees are paid fair wages.

 

Foster Care

Human Trafficking Search (HTS) published a report on the intersection of foster care and trafficking in persons.  HTS has also published several blog posts on the topic.

Research conditions in your state and advocate for laws that improve the quality of foster care and training for foster care stakeholders on human trafficking and how to spot the signs.

Foster care children who are trafficked are sometimes caught up in the legal system.  They are incarcerated rather than being treated as a survivor and given care, and their convictions make it more difficult to move on with their lives.  Safe harbor laws prevent minors from being prosecuted for prostitution.  Review this fact sheet and if your state does not have a safe harbor law, contact your legislator and advocate supporting the passage of one.

Last updated: June 2021

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