Wanting to get more involved in the efforts to fight human trafficking in South Africa? Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Educate yourself: Learn more about the issue. There are many available resources including books, movies and documentaries, academic research reports and press releases. Like our Facebook page which has loads of links and info and also check out the websites and pages of some of the South African counter-trafficking organisations in our Network here.
- Share what you learn: With your friends, family & colleagues at work. Create a small space on your company website, blogspot or Facebook page that is dedicated to spreading awareness about this crime here in South Africa.
- Further awareness: Invite someone active in the field to come talk to your book club, business group, ladies’ tea club, church group, social club or any other group you may be a part of. Even better, talk to them yourself once you’ve learnt more about the issue – anyone can be an advocate!
- Report: Any information or suspicions of human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll free on 0800 222 777 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org . Another reporting mechanism is the Salvation Army’s helpline 08000 73728. Or you can call through to report directly to SAPS through Crime Stop on 08600 10111.
- Get involved: With a local NGO or initiative in your area. Contact us to find out who is working in your province, city or town.
- Host an event: Small or large, you can have as much fun with this as you want to! We have had Mad Hatter and Pretty in Pink tea parties to raise funds and collect ladies’ toiletries; a coffee shop evening with focus on slave labour in the cocoa and coffee industries; music nights; Red Light’s bagging campaign; airport campaigns; flash mobs and so much more.
What are your talents and interests? How can you use them to create awareness and raise funds?
- Volunteer your professional services: Professional services and support are often required for the day to day running of counter-trafficking NGOs e.g. accounting, admin, media publications, printing etc.
- Be a conscientious consumer: See how many slaves “work for you” through the interactive Slavery Footprint website.
Encourage companies, including your own, to take steps to investigate and eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains and to publish the information for consumer awareness.
And make an effort to find and purchase goods that are guaranteed to be slavery-free in their production.
- Provide opportunities for prevention: Supporting any project that works with uplifting the most vulnerable in society, helps to prevent them from being trafficked.
- Provide opportunity for survivors: A huge gap in South Africa is opportunity, skills development and education for survivors. A survivor once told us: “During our safe house stay we were never offered the one thing that most of us wanted: an education. This one thing now gives me hope and helps me to wake up each morning.”
So think about whether you are able to partner with a safe house or NGO to teach survivors some kind of valuable skill or to assist with providing educational opportunities.
- Treat someone working in the field: Most of the people in this field are volunteers or full time missionaries. A gift of petrol money, air time, an outside activity, a week-end away, a bunch of flowers, a day at the spa, or any other creative idea would really encourage them.
- Financial & practical partnership: Donate funds or needed items to a counter-trafficking organisation or safe house in your area.