Given that we now have "Recruiters" on so many school campuses, we need an "Anti Human Trafficking" Club on every school campus to ongoingly raise awareness to protect our children. If a potential victim is being groomed by a Trafficker, they are not going to tell their parents if they think their parents won't approve. However they will tell their best friend which is why teens and college students are on the "front lines" of this war against the cruel exploitation of people.
Any minor who is having sex for money, by definition is a victim of Human Trafficking. However, one of the biggest problems with trying to do an awareness campaign at schools or any other place youth hang out is that they do not identify themselves as Human Trafficking victims. They consider themselves to be "girlfriends" or "boyfriends" of the person who is pimping them out. For that reason, we designed the poster to the left. You can download it here.
Anyone who "pimps" out a minor is guilty of Human Trafficking and could receive a sentence of as long as 15 years in prison. This would include an 18 year old guy who is "pimping out" his 16 year old girlfriend. Teens and young adults do not realize how serious the consequences are for engaging in this crime. and could go to prison. Since a 35 year old guy can not go onto a school campus, they use 15, 16, 17 year old "recruiters" to "sell" girls and boys on having sex for money. In one case the recruiters made $10 for every $100 the girls and boys made. The most common ploy they used was "You Are Already Doing It, You Might as Well Get Paid for It!" Penalties for Recruiters are the same as those for Human Traffickers which is 5, 10 or 15 years in prison! Minors who are recruiters are sent to juvenile hall. Discouraging teens from becoming "Recruiters" can go a long way to cut down on Human Trafficking in schools.
Teen/College Clubs can raise awareness regarding how Traffickers trick youth, how "Recruiting" can land one in jail and raise awareness regarding the importance of purchasing Fair Trade Products which addresses Human Trafficking in the Third World. Two great resources for outlining how to set up an "Anti-Human Trafficking" school club are from CAST and another from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Netsmartz and FAAST, www.faast@faast international.org, have great resource tool kits with posters teens can post around their school. Teens can be great speakers and can use the presentation on this tab to go out and educate their peers. They could purchase the programs offered at The A21 Campaign and iEmpathize. All these presentations include great videos and provide examples of questions to ask to start a discussion, etc.
There are lots of fun activities that teens can do. A great place to get ideas is from www.live2free.com. These students went to malls and did "freeze frame" skits. They often go on interesting field trips to organizations that are working on this issue. Clubs can show some of the Netsmartz videos and discuss them. The ones entitled "Real Life Stories" are powerful. Teens can put out posters. One college put together a flyer for health professionals letting them know where they could get training and drove around and put them out at all the health clinics in the area. In the first two weeks, two victims were saved as a result of their efforts.
There are many "sticker" campaigns in several states that teens can participate in, where stickers are put in bathrooms in areas where there are "Street Walkers" with the text for Polaris. (Be Free) Teens can volunteer with local organizations or do fundraisers to support organizations that are working with survivors. Many teen clubs have had t-shirts made with the name of their school on the back and on the front are the words "I am not for sale." Of course they can create social media posts and send them out.