World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is July 30th: Questions, Answers, and Resources to Help You Take Action

Each year on July 30th, the United Nations and the international community commemorate the day as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness and encourage action. This is the 10th anniversary of World Day, and this year’s theme is “leave no child behind in the fight to end human trafficking.”

To commemorate World Day this month, spend some time reviewing these questions and answers that will help you learn more about the realities of human trafficking around the world and in the United States. Then, pick one or two of the action items to help you engage in meaningful ways this month leading up to World Day.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is currently a $236 billion per year industry that is impacting over 50 million people around the world. People are trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, and organ sales.

Human trafficking occurs globally and throughout the United States. No community is immune.  It is a crime that affects every demographic – all ages, all genders, all nationalities.

In the United States, 25 types of human trafficking have been identified by Polaris, a few examples being health & beauty services, restaurants & food service, hotels & hospitality, agriculture & animal husbandry, and the pornographic industry.

Who are the victims?

Human trafficking is very often the end result of years – sometimes generations – of vulnerabilities that have gone unnoticed, unaddressed, or un-resourced.

While there is no one face of a human trafficking victim, in the United States, certain populations are more vulnerable, including:

  • Youth in and aging out of the child welfare system
  • Homeless and runaway youth
  • Foreign nationals, marginalized groups, and minorities
  • Individuals with a history of trauma or abuse
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty

Traffickers exploit these vulnerabilities and may be family members, romantic partners, acquaintances, or strangers.

What are the signs, and how do I report?

Visit Blue Campaign and the National Human Trafficking Hotline to familiarize yourself with human trafficking indicators and potential signs of a trafficking situation.

To report a suspected crime:

  • Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888.
  • Text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733.
  • Chat the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
  • Submit a tip through the Human Trafficking Hotline’s anonymous online reporting form.
  • Note: Some states have dedicated human trafficking hotlines. Find out if your state does, and save that number in your phone.

Where can I learn more?

How can I engage?

  • Enroll in the free 1-hour Human Trafficking Awareness course from Justice U™ to build your knowledge and skills and earn your Human Trafficking Awareness badge.
  • Check out the My Role page on the Engage Together website to explore the ways you can make an impact depending on what hat or hats you wear in your community.
  • Save the National Human Trafficking Hotline number (1-888-373-7888) in your phone so that you can report a suspected tip.
  • Take a stand for workers’ rights and advocate for fair wages for farmers and workers by purchasing Fair Trade products, such as coffee, chocolate, and more.
  • Purchase from Freedom Businesses, which are part of a global alliance working to end human trafficking by addressing its economic roots and employing women who are survivors of human trafficking or who may be at-risk.
  • Find out how your community is responding by reaching out to your local law enforcement, task force, or coalition. Ask if they have a list of partners that offer services or programs in your area and start reaching out to them too to see how you can help.
  • Share the information you have learned about human trafficking with someone in your circle this month.

We believe that human trafficking does not have to exist in our world today. But it will take a world of people to end it – including you!  Every one of us is uniquely positioned to make a difference. Together, change can and will happen.