Impacting the Demand for Sex Trafficking
Note: Coalition members differ in their opinions on how best to approach sex trafficking prevention and the points below are intended to promote discussion and further research. Please visit our Resources page to learn more about the Demand for Sex Trafficking.
The intention behind this billboard campaign is to spark interest in learning more about human trafficking, and more so, challenge people to question who we have been criminalizing when talking about commercial sex, sex work or what is commonly known as prostitution. Do you see the person selling sex as a criminal? What about the buyer? What if you knew the person selling sex is actually being exploited?
While it may be difficult to determine whether someone selling sex is being exploited, buyers are responsible for the role they play in driving the demand that drives exploitation.
Impacting the Demand for Labor Trafficking
We Create the Demand for Labor Trafficking
When we buy products and services produced from forced labor, we create a demand for labor trafficking and drive up profits for traffickers. Oftentimes we may not know our purchases involve human trafficking because it is difficult to trace the origin of the products we consume in our everyday life. Labor trafficking may also occur locally in the fresh food, restaurants, nail salons, or other goods and services we buy. Before the 2016 Super Bowl in Santa Clara County, the Bay Area regional collaborative No Traffick Ahead addressed labor trafficking through this billboard campaign. To learn more about Labor Trafficking, visit our Resources page or enroll in excellent self-paced online courses, developed by the Coalition in partnership with Stanford University on human trafficking in the hospitality and restaurant industries.
We Buy Products & Services Linked to Human Trafficking
In the United States, there is a wide-range of industries exploiting workers. They may work in homes, door-to-door sales, restaurants, construction, carnivals, farms, factories, and even health and beauty services (From Polaris). The U.S. Department of Labor has identified 139 goods from 75 countries made by forced or child labor.
“Your Shirt likely contains cotton that was picked by children in Uzbekistan who are forced to trade their school days for days in the fields. Your Phone has capacitors that are made with Coltan. 64% of Coltan reserves are located in Congo where child laborers are work from sunrise to sunset. Your Coffee may contain beans that were harvested and cultivated by slaves in Côte d’Ivoire.This supply chain enslaves more people than at any other time in history. And they’re working for you”
Traffickers Exploit Vulnerabilities
14.2 million people are trapped in forced labor worldwide (International Labor Organization) and the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of more than 5,400 labor trafficking cases inside the United States. Polaris has identified the following vulnerabilities: