An engaged community is a powerful dynamic. We often think of Human Traffickers preying on communities where there is economic and/or environmental hardship, but we seldom realize that they also prey on disengaged communities: communities where the local populace do not connect with each other but stay in isolated entities. These individuals have no or very little daily vibrant interactions. It doesn’t have to be this way.
After reintegrating a rescued girl back into her home community and seeing the community become angry that a member of their village had tried to sell his daughter, Oasis India director Anita said, “Since the whole village is aware now, there is some level of protection”
Human Traffickers prey on young people who have been abused, who have a low self-esteem, low self-worth, feel unloved, and are not part of a vibrant caring community.
A while ago I was asked to undertake an awareness seminar at a local So Cal school. It was undertaken to help the young people become aware of the dangers of Human trafficking and illustrate how they could protect themselves and their friends within their community. A little while later, I was contacted by the school concerning a pupil who had just developed a relationship with a much older man, and was asked for my opinion.
The guy had done nothing wrong, and there was no law that he had broken, as far as we knew. However, there was some pressure being exerted on the girl that could have eventually resulted in her moving away from the community in which she played an integral part.
Amongst the various options discussed was the simple act of making sure that her friends, school and community kept in relationship with the young lady. If the guy was disingenuous he would not want that type of interaction with others. A Trafficker seeks to isolate the individual they are targeting from their community, especially from friends and family, so that they can control them more easily. In this instance due to the community continuing the relationship with the girl the elder “boyfriend” eventually disappeared from the scene.
“The 13 Campaign” was set up to fund the development of TraffickFree Communities within the USA. The TFC’s are community groups that exist to network and engage with their local city, or areas of influence, around the dangers of Human Trafficking, and to support and care for those who may be vulnerable to Human Trafficking. They look to make it too “hot” for a trafficker to operate within their community because the community is engaged together in stopping it.
TraffickFree Communities look to end human trafficking one community at a time.
Support the fight against Human trafficking and join “THE 13 CAMPAIGN”
You can read more about TraffickFree Communities and what they have achieved within their areas of influence by going to http://oasisusa.org/current-tics.
Contact Oasis USA to start a TFC in your area.