Respond to at least two colleagues who visited a different site and note similarities and differences between what you had learned and what your colleagues had shared about steps for becoming an ally to that group. Explain the impact of what your colleagues shared in their post.
The website I researched human trafficking work is Polaris Project. The Polaris Project focuses on sex and labor trafficking that trap improvised immigrants into slave labor. The Polaris Project’s mission is to dismantle outdated systems that make sex and labor trafficking possible. The Polaris Project has operated the twenty-four-hour National Human Trafficking outline since 2007. The website offers linkages to anti-trafficking resources, long-term services and opportunities for work in the human trafficking field for victims and survivors. The Polaris Project has also partnered Mexico’s first National Sex Trafficking Hotline to fight cases that cross the United States border.
Naturally, social workers are allies to the oppressed and marginalized. However, to be an ally does not mean you have to be a social worker, and to be an ally does not mean you have to voice that you are an ally. Being an ally is essentially being an advocate by creating awareness, educating others matters of injustice, effectively communicating your point across mediums and finally taking action to create change (Evans & Washington, 2009).
Increasing awareness of human trafficking will require acknowledging that the problem exists. Having knowledge about human trafficking, how it works, what it looks like, and who is susceptible to the crime is a start. Being an ally to a victim or survivor of human trafficking is beneficial when advocating for change on the matter. Having an ally who has experienced human trafficking is important in creating awareness, having insight, and having a face for the issues as many issues are not tangible until we hear or see a personal account.
Opportunities to get involved as an ally in human trafficking is to get involved and take action. Steps that can lead to opportunities can be visiting a domestic violence shelter and talking to victims and survivors of human trafficking. Human trafficking individuals suffer from trust issues. Building trust with an individual and being accountable is the best way to begin an ally relationship. Another opportunity to be an ally for human trafficking individuals is to partner with an organization that does outreach work for victims and survivors of human trafficking. Steps that can be taken to create a support group are first building rapport, trust, and accountability with victims and survivors for them to open up and accept help. Human trafficking is a delicate topic that requires research, knowledge, and skills for one to be an effective ally.
Evans, N. J., Washington, J. (2009). Becoming an ally: A new examination (updated version). Beyond tolerance: Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals On Campus (pp. 195-204). Alexandria, VA: American College Personnel Association (ACPA), One Dupont Circle, NW at the Center for Higher Education, Washington DC 20063.
Explain how you might support Veronica and other human trafficking victims incorporating the information you have found.
Over the years, the American public and American political leaders have forcefully supported efforts to fight human trafficking (Beck et al., 2015). In the face of changes in political administrations, politicians have accused the problem of “modern slavery,” and ant trafficking efforts have received broad support (Beck et al., 2015). The former Presidents, George W. Bush and President Barack Obama both endorsed landmark ant trafficking legislation and devoted significant resources within the US Department of Justice in fighting human trafficking. Although the political agenda of our present President Donald Trump is obviously different from his ancestors; he held a listening session with ant trafficking advocates, saying that his administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking (Beck et al., 2015). We all need to help for our community and need to strive and become an ally for Veronica and all the other victims of human trafficking.
Veronica was 12 years was old when she was forced her into prostitution by her aunt; used the money from the sex acts as her main source of income (Plummer,Makris & brocksen, 2014). Veronica reported that her aunt was treating her “like a slave” and would make her smoke an unknown substance before forcing her to perform sexual acts on countless men for money. This took place for about a year before she was able to inform her mother on the phone and explain what had been happening to her. Her mother quickly arranged for Veronica to be picked up by a “coyote” (a person who smuggles people into the United States). The coyote successfully smuggled Veronica into the United States within 2 months of that phone call. However, while crossing the border from Mexico to the United States, Veronica once again became the victim of sex trafficking crimes (Plummer,Makris & brocksen, 2014). The coyote was also a pimp who arranged for men crossing the border in the same truck as Veronica to engage in sexual acts with her for which the coyote collected money. U.S. immigration officers caught most of the people traveling in the truck, including Veronica, and placed them in a detention center. However, the coyote got away. Three weeks after Veronica was detained, after much questioning and investigation, she was reunited with her mother (Plummer,Makris & brocksen, 2014).
Explain how you can begin to increase your awareness of this issue and teach others about human trafficking victims.
Each year about 18,000 people are brought to the United States and are forced into labor or sex work. Raising awareness and providing information to all healthcare workers may be the first steps needed to end sex trafficking (Bauer, 2019). Red flags of abuse and appropriate techniques for medical worker, nurses, social workers and other health care workers to use in assisting victims are discussed. Victims of human trafficking for sex usually are vulnerable children and adolescents (Bauer, 2019). Although young males also are exploited sexually, recent research suggests adolescent females are victimized more frequently Many people may believe human sex trafficking is primarily a global issue and do not recognize the problem also occurs in the United States (Bauer, 2019). Raising awareness and providing information to all healthcare workers may be the first steps needed to end sex trafficking. Healthcare providers, especially those working in emergency departments, medical-surgical units, or emergent care environments, should educate themselves concerning red flags that can be used to identify possible sex trafficking victims and, if indicated, assist them to report. Further, providers need to be able to offer victim’s community supports and resources to meet needs revealed during the assessment. By taking time to build rapport with these victimized individuals, healthcare providers may assist them to escape their situation.
Describe opportunities to get involved and become an ally to those who have been trafficked. Identify steps you can take to begin to support this group.
A human trafficking awareness group will be a great opportunity to get involve in and become an ally to those who have been trafficked. I feel that the first step is to identify the victims of human trafficking; and most of them have been traumatized, so they have to go through therapy. After the victims have gone through their recovery stage; than I can get them to be part of the awareness group. I believe that the victims if human trafficking will be able to educate the public and help them more about what they went through. We need to share the word more and more to people out there.
Beck, M.E., Lineer, M.M., Melzer-Lange, M.,Simpson, P., Nugent, M., & Rabbitt, A.(2015). A medical providers’ understanding of sex trafficking and their experience of at risk patients. Pediatrics, 135(4).doi:10.1542/peds.2014-2814
Bauer, R. (2019). What Health Providers Should Know About Human Sex Trafficking. MEDSURG Nursing, 28(6), 347–351.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].