You’ve got all this harrowing information. You know what trafficking is, why it happens, and who it affects (hint: everyone). What do you do now?
Join the Maryland Rescue and Restore Coalition
The coalition is a state level division of the US Department of Health and Human Services effort to rescue and restore victims of human trafficking. For more info about the coalition and how to get involved, go to our MD Coalition section, or contact us directly using the info listed at the bottom of the page.
Buy Fair Trade
When you buy fair trade, you ensure that your money is supporting workers who are paid fair wages, work in humane and safe conditions, and are free. For more info about the specific criteria for fair trade products, visit Fair Trade USA. “But how do I buy fair trade?” you ask. It’s simple. Search for “fair trade _____.” It’s that simple. For examples of sites that feature fair trade products, visit The Samaritan Women’s Fair and Free Shopping Guide.
Report Suspicious Activity
If your instincts tell you that someone is being trafficked, or if something just doesn’t seem right, report it. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911. If you’re not sure if you have a trafficking situation, look for some red flags. Here are phone numbers you should program into your phone:
- Polaris Project Hotline: 1-888-3737-888
- to report a tip
- connect with anti-trafficking resources in your area
- request training and technical assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources
- Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign: 1-866-347-2423 to report suspicious activity
Talk About It
Yes, it’s hard. It’s an uncomfortable topic to talk about, but you have to remember that we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. It happens right under our noses. So talk about it. Talk to your family, your friends, your coworkers, and especially young people. Don’t know where to start? Check out these fact sheets:
- Polaris Project has extensive resources on every topic related to trafficking
- Know the warning signs of a trafficking situation
- Watch “the movies.” Trafficking is a hot topic, and watching a movie about trafficking is a great way to start a discussion. A “top 10″ list is available here.
Still Need More to Do?
Here are other action-item lists: