Every year, on July 30th, the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, IOM X commits to its mission to raise awareness against modern slavery. Human trafficking is a global phenomenon, with victims exploited in every region or country of the world.
The International Labour Organization, Walk Free and the International Organization for Migration estimate that there are more than 40 million victims of modern slavery globally. Twenty five million in forced labour and 15 million in forced marriage. One out of four victims of modern slavery are children. Four out of every 1,000 people in Asia Pacific are victims of human trafficking.
Most of these people are never identified as trafficking victims. Even the best policies can be ineffective to combat human trafficking if we don’t know how to identify victims and know how to assist them.
Most importantly, the choices we make as travellers and consumers can help fuel or fight human trafficking and exploitation. To be a conscientious consumers, discover your slavery footprint. Understand that human trafficking exists because of our global demand for cheap goods, cheap labour and cheap services, although note that expansive goods don’t mean they are not produced with forced labour as well. There are things we can do to protect other people from being trafficked and exploited. You can :
- Build awareness by understanding better what human trafficking is and sharing content on human trafficking;
- Call a hotline or the police if you suspect someone may have been trafficked or is being forced to work. You can find some hotline numbers in our FIND HELP section;
- Be mindful of your consumer choices. You can support the people that are behind the products you buy. Research where the goods you buy come from (even a simple search online for ‘company name + exploitation’ may turn up some unexpected results);
- Support businesses that have child protection standards and practices in place; and
- Don’t buy goods sold by children on the streets. Giving them money can perpetuate child trafficking. Consider instead giving to an organization that supports street children.
IOM X is working to end trafficking by actively promoting safe migration and encouraging public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking across Asia Pacific. With 136 videos launched since the project started, IOM X has potentially reached more than 400 million people to raise awareness and positively change behaviour.
Everyone can act in a way that will help put a stop to trafficking in persons.