Latest research is estimating that around 40 million people are being trafficked today (labor trafficking, sex trafficking, child trafficking, etc.). It exists all over the world and knows no socio-economic bounds. A victim may look like anybody else on the street and might not even know that she/he is being trafficked. About 1 out of every 200 people is a victim of trafficking...let that sit for a second.
In the past 10 years as we have learned more about the realities and the elusive nature of Human Trafficking, we have had to learn not to allow the overwhelming scope of this injustice paralyze us from taking action. In fact, we learned that we need play our small role, coming at it from our unique angle, while others around the world are doing their parts from their approaches.
A few years ago, one of my friends and a committed fighter of this injustice helped be to better understand what we can do. He said that really all over our efforts can fit into a three-pronged approach:
The best way to stop human trafficking is to prevent it from every happening. To do this, awareness and education is crucial. We must increase awareness and vigilance in our communities to identify at-risk individuals and red flags. Law enforcement, medical professionals, hair stylists, flight attendants, hotel workers, neighbors are just a few examples of people who are in a position to identify potential victims. It will take many vigilant people in many spheres of influence to help.
Local and federal law enforcement, medical professionals, NGOs and non-profits around the world are doing amazing things identifying perpetrators and rescuing victims. Sometimes, however, rescuing a victims is not so easy as many victims do not self-identify as being trafficked. Often, especially in sex trafficking, women are being manipulated and coerced into these situations through false promises or unhealthy emotional attachments. This is where trusted relationships and encouragement can play a key role in helping a victim find a way out.
Healing from captivity and abuse is a long term process that requires the care of many professionals. Often, the identity and purpose of the victims has been stolen, and they need to believe that they are worthy of receiving the help and healing they need. This takes time and is different in every situation, but there are many incredible people who can play a significant role in this process.
Human trafficking is complex, diverse, elusive, and is so challenge to wrap our minds around and fully understand. However, we believe that many people standing up to it fro many different angles and approaches can make a massive difference!
MISSIO is committed to playing a small but significant role in the prevention, rescue, and recovery efforts through the power of beauty and the salon industry.
Thank you for standing with us!