How to end itThe Space Between


All those who learn of human trafficking – whether they are an individual, an organization, or an entire community –immediately find this question burning in their hearts and minds:

How do we end this?

Often, the next step for many is to immediately dive in and do something. While that is an understandable and noble reaction, if we truly want to end human trafficking we need to walk through several critical steps before we engage in order to create a strategic plan of action.

At the AFRJ, we call this “the space between” the question we ask (i.e. how do we stop human trafficking) and the plan we create to engage (i.e. how to end it). Journey through each of the following steps to discover how to end human trafficking – and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Each step is absolutely necessary and builds on the one before it.

Step 1: Strategy


What Must Be Done?

Human trafficking is a complex issue, and it requires a comprehensive strategy to end it.

Learn more by downloading the AFRJ® Freedom Strategy one-sheet.

The AFRJ® Freedom Strategy has been distilled from years of research and countless conversations with those in the field. It is built to scale from local community efforts to the entire global movement.

This strategy defines the areas of focus that must be addressed simultaneously. If communities are strong in one area, but lacking in another, gaps will be present that will allow trafficking to continue.

  • For instance, if we are rescuing victims without having restoration resources available, then survivors may become victims again
  • If we are strong in identifying trafficking situations, but our laws are in need of reforms regarding both victims and perpetrators, we have work yet to do.
  • If we are not focused on preventing human trafficking in the first place, vulnerable individuals will continue to be exploited.

Step 2: Possibility


Explore Potential Solutions

Now that you understand the strategy, explore the possibilities.

Spend time discovering what efforts are working well across the nation and around the world – paying particular attention to what resources are already available, programs that show promise, organization, and sector specific initiatives that are accomplishing excellent work, models that could be replicated or tailored, and more.

Exploring the possibilities opens your mind to a whole world of opportunity and ideas that:

  1. you may not be aware of, and
  2. you will want to consider as you plan to engage.

Check out the Engage Together® Toolkit Series, dynamic resources we have developed for you to launch your discovery of all that is possible and all that you may be uniquely positioned to do.

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We arehelping communities engage together on behalf of those in need – across the nation and around the globe.


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Step 3: Context


Every Community Is Different

The ways that human trafficking presents itself can look very different from one community to another.

You will need to take the time to understand what human trafficking looks like in your area and what is already being done (or not being done) to address it.

Understanding the strategy and possibilities that exist are first steps, but before you engage, you must create a plan of action that is tailored to your community’s specific needs and uses community’s unique strengths.

To begin creating your plan, you will need to complete a community assessment. Review our online resources for community engagement to access an interactive online course on how to do a Community Assessment, along with supplemental templates, charts, and more!

Step 4: Engage


How You Can Take Action

You now understand the strategy to end human trafficking. And you’ve not only explored the possibilities, but you have also contextualized your knowledge to your local community by completing a community assessment. Ready to engage? Now you can!

You have all the information you need to create a strategic plan of action that will make a difference. When it comes time to decide how you (or your organization) will engage, you have three options to choose from in creating your plan:

1) Enhance your existing efforts – Sometimes, one of the best things you can do is to simply enhance what you are already doing through ways that you are already engaged in your community. Take a look at these examples!

2) Come alongside others – Having gone through steps 1-3 above, you’ve come to know that there are a host of wonderful organizations and individuals serving your community. And they likely could use your help! Reach out to them to explore ways you can come alongside their efforts to help those in need.

3) Fill a gap – Through this process, particularly during step 3, you likely discovered gaps in your community that need to be filled (e.g. people that are not being reached, areas that are not being served, issues that are not being addressed, resources that are not yet available, etc.). Consider how you might fill that gap, or reach out to those in your community that you think might be able to work together to fill it.

You can certainly combine all of the options above as well! When we engage together, miracles happen on behalf of those in need.

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