Written by Saanvi Kataria and Edited by Viana Safa
Education seems to be the solution to every large problem in our world today, especially human trafficking. It is estimated that around 40.3 million children have been enslaved in the world today (A., By, -, & Blogger, A, 2019). The worst part is that all communities are vulnerable to it everyday. Whether one lives in a rural or urban society, people still suffer from the same socioeconomic problems. What education provides is awareness, and what awareness can provide is action. More action provides more motivation; that’s why it is so crucial to have education about human trafficking in our schools, because we can all be victims. However, it’s also important to realize that, in addition to so many young people, older people are also trafficked around the world in many places; therefore, education also helps people realize how large the underground trafficking ring really is.
A21 is an international, non-profit organization that has been working to stop bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, and sexual trafficking in around 12 countries. In addition, they have also developed a free curriculum that has been used in 42 states around the US today; this resource is called Bodies Are Not Commodities (BANC), which educates high school students. The U.S Department of Education has also developed a free guide known as Human Trafficking in America’s Schools, which includes helpful information on risk factors, identifying traffickers, and returning to safety ((A., By, -, & Blogger, A, 2019).
Schools have the ability to act as influencers for students in this world rather than bystanders. It would be much better to reach students through education rather than through those who have been trafficked. Besides schools, education and spreading awareness can be learned anywhere and everywhere. The press, private companies, and the government should all be working to keep trafficking awareness on the front lines, not only when something grand happens on the national level. NGOs should work with the State to provide the right resources to help those who are most at risk. Homeless youth and runaways are often the most at-risk because they are at their most vulnerable.
Moreover, education is a useful tool. As Malala Yousafzai once said, “one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world”. One day, we will live in a world where we are all fighting against the corrupt trafficking businesses, and the only way to do that is to start implementing trafficking awareness education in all sectors of society, from the media to schools and beyond.
-, A., By, -, & Blogger, A. “Why Education is the Greatest Human Trafficking Prevention
Tool.” 2 December 2019. https://inservice.ascd.org/why-education-is-the-greatest-human-trafficking-prevention-tool/. Accessed 24 August 2020.
“Awareness and Education Are Key to Beating Human Trafficking.” 2011.
“How To Use Education To Prevent Human Trafficking of Youth: National Runaway
Safeline.” 10 January 2018. https://www.1800runaway.org /2018/01/how-to-use-education-to-prevent-human-trafficking-of-youth/. Accessed 24 August 2020.
“Trafficking Prevention.” https://youth.gov/youth-topi cs/traffickin g-of-yo uth. Accessed
24 August 2020.
“20 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking in 2020.” United States Department of
State. 31 January 2020. https://www.state.gov/20-ways- you-can-help-fight-human-trafficking/. Accessed 24 August 2020.