Whether you are in a leadership position in a business, or a concerned community member who cares about your friends and neighbors, there are plenty of ways you can take action against youth sex trafficking. Below we share some action steps that we believe are most effective at combating demand and preventing victimization.
There are many was a business can make it clear that purchasing young women and men for commercial sexual exploitation is unacceptable. Traditionally businesses have taken a “passive” approach to managing employee activity on prostitution sites, by utilizing internet blocking or filtering programs. These technologies evaluate website content each time an employee accesses a page. These technologies can be symbolically helpful, but they tend not to reduce the organization’s risk profile since employees often use other devices and technologies to get around these blockers and filters.
We recommend taking a more active approach. Rather than passively blocking websites it is possible to create a culture of zero tolerance.
Businesses should develop policies that explicitly prohibit employees to engage in legal or illegal sex purchasing, whether on company time or not. Considered outlining appropriate employee behavior on company-sponsored business trips, and appropriate use of company resources such as mobile devices that are commonly used to access online prostitution websites.
One of our demand reduction projects, DemandTracker.org, is a searchable database of phone numbers that have been used to call or send text messages to decoy ads for trafficked girls, boys, and transgender youth. If one of your company-owned phone numbers appears in our directory, you may be unsure of the legal implications and should notify your company’s H.R. professional and legal department. Having clear company policies around this issue can create a culture of accountability around sexual exploitation for buyers and prospective buyers.
Learn more about the issue and how to get involved
We’ve made it easy to learn more about the realities of youth sex trafficking, as well as practical everyday steps you can take to impact the issue. Best of all, it’s entirely over SMS text messages on your phone! Just text the word: HTcourse to the number 313131 and you’ll be enrolled in our 6-week course for free. You’ll only receive a few messages each week, and you can stop at any time. Go ahead and try it!
Job opportunities for survivors
Many of our youth, as well as other survivors of sex trafficking need internships and job opportunities to become financially self-sufficient. Survivors are smart and determined individuals whose past victimization experiences do not define their futures. If you want to learn more about how you can connect with individuals who need jobs, please feel free to send us an email at [email protected].