January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The date was designated in 2007 in the US Senate and, while never passed in the House of Representatives, it has continued to be recognized by advocates. In 2010, it was expanded by presidential proclamation to the entire month of January and dubbed National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in National Freedom Day on February 1.
Human Trafficking Prevention Month and National Human Trafficking Awareness Day bring collective attention to the reality that over 40 million people globally are trapped in some form of modern slavery (including approximately 5 million in forced sexual exploitation) and the perpetrators and facilitators that take in $150 billion every year.
With so many misconceptions and misinformation related to human trafficking, education about trafficking is more important than ever. The effects of COVID-19 on the economy, education, and human lives have in some cases exacerbated the issue of human trafficking as individuals are increasingly vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking. This includes individuals being targeted online and in person.
How to Take Action
Since Savhera’s theme for January is redemption and renewal, it is fitting that the new year coincides with National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month. With the new year comes the opportunity for new beginnings and bringing the facts and stories of survivors to the forefront.
Here are some ideas:
- Read survivor stories, like that of Ava or Jyoti so that their voices continue to be elevated.
- Buy products from companies like Savhera that are providing a pathway to freedom and independence for survivors to restore their lives.
- Give monetarily to or volunteer with non-profits working directly on behalf of survivors. Savhera partners with Shakti Vahini, Valiant Hearts, and New Friends New Life.
Mala, one of Savhera’s production team members in India, said, “At the age of five, I was trafficked to the red light area and I was raised there. At the age of twelve I started to do sex work. Now I have a new dawn. I have peace and am healing the pain I had inside.” It is time for more survivors to experience a new dawn–a Savhera. Together, let’s make it happen!