WIKI: Human trafficking is the third largest crime industry in the world, behind drug dealing and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing activity of trans-national criminal organizations. Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour or sexual slavery. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), forced labour alone generates an estimated $150 billion in profits per annum from the 21 million victims trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these
- 14.2 million (68%) were exploited for labour
- 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited
- 2.2 million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labour
The International Labour Organization has reported that child workers, minorities, and migrants are at considerable risk of more extreme forms of exploitation.
There are a number of notable organizations that attempt to combat human trafficking. Each has their particular geographic focus, demographic or program emphasis. One small but effectual organization located here in Nashville is Free For Life International. Their unique model focuses on four aspects of intervention and healing:
- Prevention – Sustainability is the root of continuous healing. These projects can include education and community building within at-risk populations.
- Border Monitoring – We monitor international borders to identify and rescue trafficking victims and arrest their traffickers. Over 1,000 victims have been rescued through this program to date!
- Shelters – We provide shelters and ammenities to trafficking victims at no cost to the survivor. Our shelters are places of love and healing where we encourage health, stability, and self confidence.
- Scholarships – Free For Life provides victims with scholarships that enable them to pursue their unique dreams. Scholarships are available for both vocational training and higher education programs.
Of particular note is their Prevention Curriculum.
Gabrielle Thompson, FFLI’s Executive Director and CEO, spent a year searching for an effective teaching method to spread awareness about human trafficking and how to equip and empower individuals with the “tools” to prevent it. “We identify what are the gaps in the anti-trafficking community, how we can fill those, how we can be innovative and not recreate the wheel and actually help the community as a whole, and support those that are at risk as well as those who have been victimized.”