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.
Download the AFRJ Freedom Strategy one sheet here.
Incorporate this strategy into your local community through the Engage Together® Toolkit Series.
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.
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Much of the fight to eradicate human trafficking will be won by preventing it in the first place. In order to PREVENT human trafficking, communities must be made aware that this evil exists and must be educated about what puts children, youth, and adults at risk in their cities. While there is no one face of a human trafficking victim, certain populations are more vulnerable. Understanding and addressing factors that lead to vulnerability will aid in preventing exploitation. Further, without demand, human trafficking would not exist. We must address this root problem – in the lives of individuals, in our culture, and in our laws and policies.
The next step in combating human trafficking will be to take affirmative actions to IDENTIFY victims of trafficking. There is much work to be done in this area of focus. Those who are most likely to be in contact with victims – such as law enforcement officers, health care providers, teachers, parents, service industry workers, and others – need training to properly identify and detect a case of trafficking. Additionally, outreach to vulnerable populations is also essential to identifying trafficking operations and leading to the rescue of victims.
Once properly identified, those caught in trafficking situations must be RESCUED. While it is the responsibility of law enforcement officials to intervene physically and remove victims from dangerous circumstances, civilians are uniquely positioned to assist law enforcement in this process. Rescued victims have many immediate and critical needs, including temporary shelter for immediate and safe housing; services such as medical, dental, legal, and counseling; and victim advocates who will come alongside and link them to needed resources in the community. Increasing the availability of these resources ensures that these victims receive the instant care they need.
Once rescued, a survivor needs access to appropriate RESTORATIVE and rehabilitative aftercare, tailored to meet the needs of each individual. The range of care may include medical, psychological, familial, spiritual, educational, and even vocational services. Needs differ greatly from adults to minors, and from foreign national to domestic survivors. The end goal, however, is the same – a successful reintegration and a solid foundation upon which to build a healthy, safe, and fulfilling future.
In addition to the rescue and restoration of victims, we must also take affirmative steps to REFORM our laws and policies, and even entire systems that are in place to care for the vulnerable. This process necessitates first becoming informed and then considering how to enact laws and policies that are protective of victims and provide significant deterrents to those who would harm others through this trade. It is also critically important to assess whether our policies – at the legislative level and in our own communities and businesses – are addressing this issue appropriately. Further, monitoring the impact of various reforms all along the way is essential to know whether efforts are successful or need to be further refined, and particularly, what creative solutions might exist to fix systems that are broken, overburdened, or under-resourced.
Use this strategy to create a plan of action for your Church, Community Coalition, and more. Take a look at our Engage Together® Toolkits.