You and your daughter can absolutely get involved in the movement to end human trafficking. It can be tough to talk about an issue as upsetting as human trafficking with a child. But we know that girls hold within them the power to change the world (as I was recently reminded of by Malala). Thank you for allowing me to share your question with our community–here are some ways that you and your daughter can join the movement to end human trafficking:
Commit to a world without slavery in your hearts. It may seem like a small thing, but deciding that the world is not right and that you will change it is a step we all must take for a free future. That commitment will gird everything else you do to end human trafficking.
Connect with the movement to end human trafficking on and offline. Though 20.9 million people a year are trafficked, millions more have no idea it happens in their neighborhoods. By joining our mailing list, you’ll get at least monthly updates on the fight to end human trafficking, and inspiration for ways you and your daughter can act in your community. You and your daughter can work together to get others involved in the movement—set a goal to tell 10 or 20 new people about the tragedy of human trafficking and encourage them to follow Polaris Project on Facebook, Twitter, or through our email list. You can use our Tell a Friend from here if you like.
You can also connect with the movement offline, by connecting with non-profits serving survivors of human trafficking in Iowa. You can sit down together, write an email to and call your Senators, asking them to co-sponsor the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. When I was your daughter’s age, my parents encouraged me to write my President about issues that mattered to me, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson that my government works for me.
You can put hope on the line for a victim of human trafficking. Program the number (1-888-373-7888) of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center into your phone and your daughter’s if she has one. Learn the signs— like a too-young person going truck to truck at a rest stop, or a server who seems to sleep in the restaurant. If either of you see these signs and believe something is off, report to the human trafficking hotline.
When you or your daughter call, one of our call specialists will answer the phone and be ready to answer your questions, find you help, or contact law enforcement (if necessary and appropriate). We have taken thousands of tips from community members, provide services in dozens of languages and are open 24/7/365.
You can also use the website Slavery Footprint to account for what products in your lives are made with slave labor and earn points by taking actions and supporting slave-free products. Your daughter can take this information with you into her classroom and your community, to help everyone around you reduce the amount of slave labor in their lives.
If you can, consider making a donation to empower others to end human trafficking in other communities. Your gift can touch the lives of survivors who you would never encounter in your hometown and show your daughter another way to give back. Your daughter can do chores for neighbors in exchange for a donation, you can use the community you’ve connected to organize a fundraiser. You and your daughter can set up a Peer-to-Peer fundraising page to gather donations and involve your community as well.
Thank you Libby for asking what you and your daughter can do. The short answer is: a lot to move us closer to a free future.
Jessica Dickinson Goodman
Online Outreach Specialist