One of the recurring problems affecting human rights worldwide is human trafficking, now called modern slavery. Even though we have a society aiming to monthly raise humans out of poverty, this archaic crime is not ancient history. It just adapted.
According to the Global Slavery Index, over 9.2 million people living in Africa are living in modern slavery. This makes up nearly a quarter of all human trafficking cases around the world. They are bought and sold in public markets, forced to marry against their will, and provide labor under the guise of “marriage”.
Origin and Theme for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021
The first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was celebrated by the United Nations on 30 July 2014. Consequently, it has become an annual event with different themes. The theme for the 2021 celebration is “Victims’ Voices Lead The Way“. The focus this year is on the survivors of human trafficking, portraying the importance of listening to and learning from survivors. Consequently, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is calling on the public to use the hashtag #EndHumanTrafficking on all digital platforms.
Listening to survivors can help us to comprehend and implement effective measures to fight this crime. Also, the celebration has an enormous effect on the rehabilitation of survivors. Sadly, some of the survivors suffer traumatic interrogations and lengthy legal procedures make it hard for them to heal completely.
While the Africa region has the lowest average regional government response score—with a CC rating—there have been significant improvements in specific countries. One of the helping factors is the non-profit organizations operating in these areas. They are helping to reduce the impact of this crime and strengthening the campaign to raise awareness. Therefore, it is important to highlight some of these non-profits and their achievements.
#1. Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)
The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) is an Alliance of more than 80 non-governmental organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe, LAC, and North America. GAATW sees the phenomenon of human trafficking intrinsically embedded in the context of migration for the purpose of labor.
Founded in 1994 at a conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where participants raised the concern about the contemporary discourse and activism around trafficking in women. One of their core values is to promote and defend the human rights of all migrants and their families. Also, they are fighting against the threat of the labor markets and calling for better safety standards for migrant workers.
#2. Stop The Traffik
STOP THE TRAFFIK is a pioneer in human trafficking prevention. They are working to unite people around the world by inspiring, informing, equipping, and mobilizing communities to know what human trafficking is, know how to identify it, and know how to respond appropriately.
STOP THE TRAFFIK founded in 2006 is a campaign coalition working to bring an end to human trafficking worldwide. The first two-year campaign coincided with the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 1807. After overwhelming activist support from around the world, they presented 1.5 million signatures to the UN in February 2008. Consequently, this ensures this crime is not ignored.
According to the organization’s 2019-2020 report, they were able to reach over 1.9 million people. This milestone was possible through 9 campaigns in 4 countries and 3 continents in 6 languages. Furthermore, the non-profit was able to train 1,300 people.
#3. The Sex Workers Project
The Sex workers Project engages in media advocacy and help sex worker-led organizations pursue policy changes. One of their goals is to show the impact their policies have on the lives of their employees. Furthermore, this non-profit organization conducts ground-breaking human rights documentation rooted in the real-life experiences of sex workers and survivors of trafficking. Their annual report shows that in 2020 they got 11,913 cases closed and impacted 24,388 people. Furthermore, they were able to recover over $4 million now used to aid victims in need.
#4. Awareness Against Human Trafficking
Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART) founded in 2010 is a non-governmental organization committed to ending human trafficking in Kenya and East Africa. Their mission is to collaboratively create a trafficking-free environment using holistic care and the UN Four P’s Strategy.
HAART allows victims’ to turn their lives around, partnering with other survivors and developing community resilience. Since its creation, they reached more than 60,000 people and assisted 585 survivors. In an effort to raise awareness they also held 1,500+ successful prevention workshops.
S-CAPE, founded in 2010, is a faith-based, non-profit organization in Cape Town, South Africa. It operates by using a diverse group of both staff and volunteers, from diverse continents, cultures, and backgrounds. It aims to be an action library, an antislavery directory, and a learning resource. Today, End Slavery Now is owned and operated by the Freedom Center as a part of its contemporary antislavery program.
#6. Right To Be Free
Founded by Ghanaian Eric Peasah, Right To Be Free/Africa, is a non-governmental organization committed to freeing victims of trafficking, forced labor, and other forms of exploitation. The founder helps to rescue children forced to work in precarious conditions. Rescuing survivors from fishing, gold mining, and cocoa farming industries in Ghana. This organization aims to support the victims physically, emotionally, and financially throughout their recovery and reintegration into society.
#7. Fair Girls
FAIR Girls deals with female survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, providing holistic care and group interventions. Also, through prevention education and policy advocacy, this non-profit hopes to eradicate human trafficking. One of their biggest achievements is the reduction of systematic barriers to survivors’ healing and empowerment
Founded in 2003, FAIR Girls has already helped well over 1,200 girls and young women through granting safe housing and trauma-informed direct services. FAIR Girls’ mission is deeply rooted in helping these women cope with the barriers they may face with societal integration.
Through prevention education curriculum and community outreach, Fair Girls has identified and helped close the “on-ramps” into exploitation and trafficking. Also, it increased access to the “exit-ramps” through age-appropriate, specialized direct services, safe transitional housing, advocacy, and support.
Even though human trafficking is still a huge problem worldwide, there are already hundreds of people and organizations making an effort to rewrite the story. No amount of effort is too small. You can play your part by raising awareness through social media platforms using appropriate hashtags. Do you volunteer with any organization? Share your story and thought with us!