9 things your business can do to prevent traffickingWritten by SAFE
Human traffickers profit off the sale of lives, trapping millions of people in horrific situations around the world. January is Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and as the new year begins, advocates are encouraging businesses and community groups to be active in their role to stop violence
“Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will,” said Crystal Sepulveda, Director of the SAFE CARES anti-trafficking program. “As a business owner, you cannot see what you do not know how to look for.”
What you and your business can do right now
- If you’re in the Austin area, you can sign up for training from the SAFE CARES team. Our advocates can train you and your colleagues about the signs of trafficking in your industry and how to respond. Custom trainings include signs of trafficking, how employees can respond, what makes an effective policy for preventing trafficking, and more to ensure business owners are doing all they can.
- Educate yourself on some of the common signs of trafficking. A few of the more common signs include tattoos that say things like “Daddy” or “Property of…”, individuals accompanied by a person who won’t let them speak for themselves or make any decisions, and people who are not wearing clothing appropriate for the weather.
- Hire survivors of trafficking. Many people who have been trafficked have criminal records as a result of the exploitation they experienced–if you make a point to hire survivors, you are providing opportunities where there usually aren’t many. Additionally, people who have experienced trafficking are often familiar with the red flags to watch for. By hiring survivors, you are putting more people in the best position to support others.
- Learn about new Texas requirements for businesses to help stop trafficking, such as a recent law that went into effect this month requiring some businesses to update their signage to prevent trafficking.
- Donate to organizations like SAFE that work to serve survivors and stop trafficking.
- Post signs in your business for employees and/or clients to learn what they can do if they or someone they know are being trafficked. If you need help finding or creating signs, please let us know! See our CARES contact information below.
- Donate your time and services to support survivors. SAFE clients can always use haircuts, resume review, new clothes, housing assistance, and more.
- Work with other businesses to create networks of safe spaces for survivors and join united anti-trafficking coalitions such as the Texas Businesses Against Trafficking.
- Start by believing. If someone tells you or your employees that they are being trafficked, listen. And make sure you and your staff know how to help.
For information about trainings for businesses or additional resources, please contact SAFE CARES Director Crystal Sepulveda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you suspect someone is being trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.