The title sucked you in huh? I was hoping it would. It’s true; I’m asking you to do very, very little to end human trafficking. Because let’s be honest; we’re lazy. I don’t mean that in a negative way, I love being lazy! I’ve honestly thought of equipping my dogs with insulated saddlebags to help facilitate my own amazing lack of wanting to do things. In the morning I would gear up my dogs with all of my supplies needed for the day (sandwiches, drinks, snacks) so I wouldn’t ever have to leave my couch (learn more about my everlasting love for my couch here). I would simply call my dogs over, remove what supplies I need & then continue on with my epic laziness.
But I digress, this blog entry isn’t about my laziness; it’s about our mutual, co-constructed laziness.
So building a more free world is a massive pain in the ace, I’ll be the first one to admit it. I could easily ask you to change everything about you, to live completely for the freedom of others; but you wouldn’t do it. Let’s be honest, just about every aspect of our lives involves the exploitation of others. If I were to try to ask you to change everything all at once you would most likely reject my very premise & just keep on, keeping on.
So I’m not going to ask you to change the world, I’m just going to ask you to do one thing. I’m going to ask you to pick one small easy to do item from this list, commit to it, and do it on a regular basis. On the micro (small) level, you might think that one small thing, one act, won’t make a difference. You’re wrong. If several million people do one small thing, on the macro level (big), we’ve just changed the world.
So here we go. It doesn’t matter which one you pick from this list. Just commit to it & do it (or if called for, don’t do it) on a regular basis. Make your choice public, share this status & tell others what you’ve chosen to do or not do to (see #17).
The “do-little” list to end human trafficking:
- Buy refurbished electronics regularly (learn more here)
- Eat locally grown food (learn more here)
- Buy fair trade coffee (learn more here)
- Don’t buy porn (learn more here)
- Buy conflict free diamonds (learn more here)
- Buy U.S. mined precious metals (learn more here)
- Frequent the thrift shop
- Avoid companies that sexualize children (think makeup, clothes & other advertisements)
- Be a child’s mentor
- Teach your sons that women aren’t objects
- Report suspicious sexual activities to the NHTRC & local police (learn more here)
- Don’t buy commercial sex
- Read & understand the List of goods made by forced or child labor (download it here)
- Learn your slavery footprint (take the test here)
- Get your fish from U.S. sources (learn more here)
- Buy fair trade coffee (learn more here)
- Share human rights orgs statuses DON’T JUST LIKE THEM!
- Tell teachers not to say “the civil war ended slavery” because it only made it illegal
- Buy clothes from companies who signed onto the CA Transparency in supply chains act (learn more here)
- Check out All American Clothing Company & their Traceability program (learn more here)
- Pay for a tattoo shop to remove ex gang member or trafficking survivor tattoos (learn more here)
- Grow your own vegetables (learn more here)
- Buy things that are Made By Survivors (learn more here)
- Buy Goodweave Certified carpets & rugs (learn more here)
- Volunteer with an anti-trafficking or human rights organization
- Read some of the research (not just the emotional stuff) of human trafficking (learn more here)
- Don’t buy illegal drugs (learn more here)
- Get free anti-trafficking drop cards from us & leave them places (learn more here)
- Invest ethically (learn more here)
- Give money to an anti-trafficking organization
- Teach your kids a safe word & a panic word that only your family knows
- Track your kids via cell phone app (learn more here)
- Request a free anti-trafficking presentation at your child’s school (learn more here)
- Invite us into your church for a free social justice presentation
- Stop using the word pimp as a descriptive word (learn more here)
- Put free Bible bookmarks in Bibles (learn more here)
- Don’t buy items made from tropical hardwood (learn more here)
- Familiarize yourself with what human trafficking looks like (learn more here)
- Share ways to end human trafficking (not just arrest reports) on social media (learn more here)
- Help to change male culture (learn more here)
- Encourage entrepreneurs to learn about anti-trafficking efforts (learn more here)
- Say you’re ending human trafficking, not “fighting” human trafficking (learn more here)
- Memorize these phone number 1.888.373.7888 or text 233733 (this is how you report human trafficking to the NHTRC)
- Teach kids it is ok to fight if someone tries to take them or take advantage of them (learn more here)
- Plant a vegetable garden (learn more here)
- Repurpose items (learn more here)
- Hire people with previous criminal records (give them a chance, if not,they will still continue to earn money; just illegally. Trafficking is very profitable)
- Tell other people about human rights
- Get the Buycot app & be a responsible consumer (learn more here)
- Help to end sex trafficking by saying “real men don’t buy girls“
So there it is, a list so simple that an item or two could be accomplished in seconds per month. You may think that these tiny things don’t make a difference, you’re wrong. In order to build a more free world, the work to end human trafficking has to become institutionalized, which means that it is just something we have built into our lives. By doing a thing or two regularly you institutionalize the system. If enough people begin to do one or two things manufacturers, traffickers, politicians etc. will take notice & things will start to change on a massive level. In theory 20% of the population represents a tipping point, which means all we have to do is get 20% of Americans to perform or two items on a regular basis and then the behavior will spread virally.
Always remember that even the smallest pebble can cause waves in the largest of oceans.
If you have any ideas for more items for the “do-little” list, please share them with me. Jesse @ imaginefreedom.org