Fighting Human Trafficking: Dressember

One of the blog posts I have been planning for December was to write about human trafficking. This was because of Dressember which I will further discuss below. It is a time when women are wearing dresses and men are wearing bow ties to raise awareness and funds to help fight human trafficking.

Human Trafficking per, UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, includes recruitment & transportation of persons using threat, force, fraud, abuse of power etc. for exploitation.1 Exploitation can be forced labor, sexual exploitation, and prostitution.1 Per the 2014 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons:

  • 72% of convicted traffickers are men & 28% are women2
  • 49% of detected victims are adult women2
  • 33% of detected victims are children2
  • More than 6 out of 10 of all victims have been trafficked across at least one national border2
  • The number of trafficked victims who were trafficked for forced labor increased from 32% in 2007 to 40% in 20112
  • Between 2010-2012 about 40% of countries reported less than 10% convictions per year2

About 2 billion people lack full protection as required by the UN protocol.2 This is problematic because human trafficking is already hard to detect and lack of protection exacerbates the problem. It is estimated that a little over 24 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery.3 From this information, I’m sure you can see the gravity of the problem. It is quite overwhelming. Which is why when I heard of Dressember I instantly fell in love. I adore what they are doing and admire the founder Blythe for starting a wonderful movement. I am going to quickly introduce what they are doing here.

Dressember started with Blythe challenging herself to wear dresses for the month of December.4 It was more of a creative outlet at the point but later it became a way to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking.4 Wearing a dress for the entire month of December garners questions which can allow you to bring up and talk about human trafficking.4 Second participants also fundraise!4 Since 2013, Dressember has raised over $3 million.4 This year Dressember has a goal of raising $2 million.4

I personally am not participating in wearing a dress for the month of December. However, I love this movement. I fully support their cause. Unfortunately, December is a busy month for me so I decided to support in the form of donating money. Hopefully, I will be able to join next year! Below are some action steps that I could think of and if you would choose to do one or two or all it would be greatly appreciated!

Action Steps

I hate feeling overwhelmed. I usually cope by watching a copious amount of TV and lying in bed all day. Human trafficking; the extent and breadth of the problem can feel overwhelming. It can be tough to process which is why in this post I have included some action steps that we can all do.

  1. Olivia from Simplylivandco and Emily from adaypack are cohosting Dressember this year. They have a team and a goal of $1000. If you feel so inclined please donate some money towards their campaign. Here is their team page.
  2. If you are the praying type, then I encourage you to pray.
  3. Get informed. Find out about the issue, dig deeper I never want to encourage anyone to follow trends when it comes to advocacy so find information. Keep going beyond December or national human trafficking month or day.
  4. Support businesses and organizations that are fighting human trafficking. The next post on the blog is going to be a list of businesses that are fighting human trafficking.

Cheers,

Bety

 

 

References

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html – (1)

http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/GLOTIP_2014_full_report.pdf  – (2)

https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/human-trafficking-numbers – (3)

http://www.dressember.org – (4)

Ps. I apologize for the references not being formal. I’m in the midst of papers and finals season so I did not have a lot of time. I hope you find this article helpful.

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