Human Trafficking Awareness Day

CiTTA Joins Voices Bringing Awareness to Human Rights Issue
Today marks the national observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Established in 2011 by President Barack Obama, this day aims to raise public awareness of modern slavery. Human trafficking is an illegal $150 billion dollar industry that affects 20.9 million people around the world.

Human trafficking manifests in different ways, ranging from young girls being forced into prostitution, to a migrant worker stripped of her passport and held against her will. Typically, victims of human trafficking are lured by false promises of jobs, education, stability, or a loving relationship.

Traffickers Exploit Market Demand for Cheap Labor

Human trafficking affects people of all backgrounds. However, some people are more vulnerable, such as the homeless, runaway youth, victims of abuse and discrimination, and those displaced by war. These people are often recruited by human traffickers seeking to exploit them for profit.

Yet human trafficking does not exist because some groups of people are more susceptible to exploitation. Rather, the human trafficking industry exists because of the market demand for cheap labor, services and commercial sex. Human traffickers then utilize force, fraud, or coercion to victimize others in the market to profit from that existing demand.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, “to ultimately solve the problem of human trafficking, it is essential to address these demand-driven factors, as well as to alter the overall market incentives of high-profit and low-risk that traffickers currently exploit.”

Business Solutions Exist: The Social Enterprise Model
One solution that addresses the economic vulnerability of human trafficking victims is the business model of social enterprises. Social enterprises are businesses that apply commercial strategies while maximizing social impact.  Because they are already committed to human and environmental well-being, social enterprises support ethical labor and supply chains.

In addition, many social enterprises benefit the survivors of human trafficking through a variety of opportunities.  As noted in the social enterprise blog in The Guardian, “Social enterprises can act as a form of rehabilitation for survivors in high-trafficked communities, through the creation of mass-market job and product opportunities, and through a combination of education, skills training and support. By providing economic and social stability, social enterprises can also stem the possible displacement of populations.”

Here at CiTTA Partnership we recognize the need for social enterprises to be part of the solution to human trafficking. We stand committed to a mission-driven economy that not only assists survivors of trafficking, but also tackles the root causes of modern slavery.

That’s why throughout January – Human Trafficking Awareness Month – we’ll be highlighting some of the social enterprises we support in this cause. Check out our blog next week to learn more!