TME and Human Trafficking Prevention
Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States. Launched by Barack Obama in 2016, the month is a dedicated opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking across the globe.
How does Thare Machi Education tackle Human Trafficking?
Thare Machi Education has been tackling human trafficking since 2008, when we launched our human trafficking lesson in South Africa. The key message in the DVD is “YOU ARE NOT FOR SALE”. It raises awareness of the risk of trafficking, gives key information on what you can do if you suspect traffickers are operating in your area, such as what questions to ask, and also gives information on who you can call for more help and advice.
The lesson has been an incredible success, reaching communities from Cambodia to Nigeria, and Russia to the UK with vital information for those most at risk.
The Human Trafficking lesson is currently available in over 20 languages
We know that the DVD has been effective in tackling human trafficking thanks to stories like Somali’s:
“My name Somali a 16 years old girl, I had watch the human trafficking DVD and it so interesting that I can learn many kind of tricks from the trafficker, as I’ve learnt this one day a couple neighbor asking my parent to take me to work at Bangkok, Thailand as the restaurant worker with high salary and my parent decided send me to go without any doubt because we know the couple as our neighbor.
When my parent come and share this with me I have my reaction to them gently, my suggestions to them is that; can you mum and dad ask them go to meet commune council cabinet? Can you ask them go to meet the Work Permit Department? Can we have a work contract with the restaurant owner which is have Khmer-Thai authority recognize?
Then my parent bring all those questions to the couple and the couple just reply that now the restaurant owner don’t need the worker anymore they got enough because you make the decision late. Since then my family and this couple not talk to each other much.”
Another key strategy in tackling human trafficking is helping communities to become more stable and prosperous, where people have local opportunities to work and are able to support their families safely. TME strives towards Sustainable Development Goal 8, ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ by working with communities to spread basic health information on topics such as HIV prevention, hand washing, safe water, malaria, and cholera. These lessons help communities to become healthier, enabling children to stay in school and gain an education, allowing men and women to stay in work and earn more money, and helping the community as a whole to become stronger and more prosperous.
About Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is the trade of men, women and children, in which traffickers use physical force, coercion and manipulation to take people away from their families and keep them indefinitely in labour or sex work. It’s hard to know exactly how many victims there are of human trafficking, but the International Organisation for Migration estimates that there are 40 million victims right now, one quarter of whom are children, and 70% are women and girls.
This means that there are more slaves today than during the Transatlantic slave trade. Victims of slavery today are no longer found in chains or in cotton fields; you can find them in nail salons, in butchers, in factories, on fruit farms, as domestic servants in peoples’ houses, on fishing boats and in brothels.
Trafficking victims often have their passports taken from them, can be taken to a new country or city, and may be made depended on drugs or alcohol, making it very difficult to escape their abusers. Trafficking victims are taken away from their families, and may be subject to physical, sexual and psychological abuse. They are often not paid for their work, and with no passports and few connections in the area, they are unable to escape their new life.
Who are the victims of human trafficking?
Human traffickers systematically target vulnerable and marginalised people, people tempted by the offer of a better life. Men and women living in poor communities with high levels of unemployment can take promising job offers in foreign cities, only to have their documents seized and be forced to work 10 hours a day in unsafe conditions.
Poverty is a huge propellant of human trafficking, with parents taking ‘too good to be true’ job offers to provide for their family, or selling their children to traffickers who promise to keep them safe. Natural disasters and war zones are also ripe ground for traffickers, as families are not only in a more precarious financial position than before, but many children are left orphaned and alone, making them more vulnerable to trafficking and abuse.