6 Steps to Prioritize For Youth Trafficking Prevention


There is an exciting movement to prioritize human trafficking prevention in our nation’s communities. Schools, youth service programs, juvenile corrections services, group homes,faith communities, and other youth-oriented spaces are recognizing their great potential to empower youth to stay safe from exploitation, including sex trafficking.

At the start of this new school year, you may be thinking about how to work preventatively with the youth in your life, whether in your own home space, in a social space such as through a volunteer position at a local youth program, or in a work space such as a school.

Here are six key steps to consider as you plan to select and present exploitation prevention education to youth.


1. Use non-sensationalized content.

Sex trafficking might seem like an impossible topic to discuss with youth, but it doesn’t have to be. There are resources – including curricula like ours – that you can use to do this. There are also age-appropriate, empowering, and hopeful ways to broach this kind of conversation. Content that uses exploitative imagery – such as photographs of victims with duct tape over their mouths or with barcodes down bare backs – may only serve to reinforce cultural stereotypes while inadvertently titillating the viewer with sensational images. You can talk about issues of child exploitation – even sex trafficking – without exposing youth to even slightly sexually-charged imagery. 

2. Go for the roots.

If you want to eradicate the weed of exploitation entirely, go for the roots. Working preventatively with youth means that we have to go beyond teaching the academic side of human trafficking. This issue can’t just be taught as a series of definitions that students memorize. Instead, youth need to be empowered with practical, actionable strategies they can apply to their everyday lives. Helping youth to understand the everyday factors that can put them in a vulnerable position – often through no fault of their own – along with the strategies they can use to successfully navigate that vulnerability, is essential. When this issue is taught from a historical, legal, or sociological perspective alone, it is not prevention education. It is academic education.

To learn about our approach to “going for the roots,” check out this document.

Read the full article: http://iempathize.org/th_gallery/6-steps-to-prioritize-for-youth-trafficking-prevention/


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