July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This date is recognized by the UN for the 21 million people currently in forced labor. Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children, and men for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex.
Here are five tips to organize your fundraising efforts and stop human trafficking:
Trafficking is an issue widely misunderstood. Even donors, the public, policymakers, and even people working in the space itself are unaware of what trafficking really looks like. So be prepared to both inform and fundraise simultaneously. Spending so much time on education may seem like a lot of work – and it is – but good fundraisers can start with meaningful conversations which can turn into long-term donations.
To some, trafficking may seem like a niche issue. In reality, human trafficking is a cross-cutting issue involving human rights, peace, and security, women’s issues, violence against children, health, education, etc. When looking for information and support, it may be necessary to cast a wide net. Do not be afraid to reach out to other groups for support.
People involved in trafficking face a myriad of issues – trauma, stigma, poverty, lack of legal standing, and much else. When working with these people, take great care in protecting their privacy. This may include anything from their names and addresses to medical records. If you want to take their picture or share their story in a case study or other marketing purposes, make sure you ask their permission. Going farther, make sure they understand exactly how their information will be used. Also, share with them if/how it could put them at risk. Making any possibly identifying images or information publicly available could make these people even more vulnerable to others.
Research in stopping human trafficking shows just how much of the trade is based on supply and demand. In your proposal, be very clear to the donor that your organization understands the economic forces at work, and have designed projects that will have a lasting impact. Do this well, and you will also get points for sustainability!
Human trafficking is a problem that affects every country in the world. Due to the border-hoping nature of this issue, no one organization or even one country can address this issue alone. It is very important to consult with other anti-trafficking organizations and defenders around the world. So, be open to sharing news, updates, stories, and policy changes.