Posts in EDITORIAL
Cultural barriers present in human trafficking

As advocates, we care deeply about the men and women who are trapped, abused and exploited within the sex trafficking industry. This passion is such a wonderful thing, but it can also be blinding. Often, when we try to help people in extreme circumstances such as this, we forget to take any other situational factors into consideration. One of the most important factors we should take into consideration when attempting to help sex trafficking victims is cultural context.

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Who is at risk for sex trafficking?

What makes someone more at-risk of falling victim to sex trafficking than others? Knowing the vulnerabilities of people who are exploited through sex trafficking can drastically lower the number of those who are impacted by this awful epidemic. There are no definite criteria that automatically make someone more at-risk, but there are a few factors that play a part in increasing one’s vulnerability to sex trafficking.

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How does ethical fashion play into human trafficking?

Fast fashion describes the rapid movement of inexpensive garments from the runway to the store in order to keep up with trends. It stocks stores with beautiful, on-trend items that are hard to say “no” to because of their low prices. But would we consider thinking twice before buying if we knew how that garment was made? If we were to meet the man or woman who made that article of clothing, talked to them about their salary or working conditions, and put ourselves in their shoes - would the $10 skirt be worth it?

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The Overlooked Areas where Modern Slavery Exists

There are many incredible organizations involved in the global fight against human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery. Recently I had the privilege of attending a presentation by Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project, titled, The Typology of Modern Slavery.’ Myles highlighted 25 different types of human trafficking based on the data collected from their hotline for our Southwest Florida community of service providers - and it was eye opening. It’s important as advocates to constantly be educating ourselves about the different realities of trafficking so we can be more effective at combating them.

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Shining a Light in Her High School: Rachel Koh

There are times that we let things get in the way of our influence. There are times when we use excuses like, “I don’t have enough time,” or “I don’t know enough,” or “I’m not old enough.” These thoughts can get in the way of raising our voice when we see something unjust, but today we want to let you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Whatever time you have to give, whatever knowledge you have, however old you are - you can be an advocate fighting against trafficking.

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An Advocates Guide To Sharing During Dressember

When you find a cause that strikes a chord in your heart and makes you want to fight for something, it’s normal to expect everyone around you to catch the same fire. However, this isn’t always the case. As much as we would love our passions to be universal and for all people to be enthusiastically fighting for the same thing, that’s not typically the reality. We might not all fight the same thing, but we can all still support each other in the many different movements against injustice. Even so, it’s easy to get frustrated when trying to share your passions when the response isn’t on par with your enthusiasm. So, here is a helpful guide on how to have conversations about injustice that are beneficial to you and everyone else.

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What does it mean to be an advocate?

At Dressember, individuals choosing to commit to wearing dresses for the month of December whilst fundraising and spreading the word about trafficking are not just called participants. They’re called advocates. You might consider the difference between these terms subtle. In fact, when I first decided to join the movement, I used the words interchangeably. After all, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a participant as, “one who takes part or shares in something.” Was that not exactly what I would be doing by donning dresses and campaigning? Over time, as I became more familiar with the vision and heart of Dressember, I have come to understand the significance of the choice of word advocacy. Today, we’ll unpack what it means to be an advocate in the anti-trafficking movement through Dressember.

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Ethical is the new "black"

In a world with a global economy where imports and exports are a daily occurrence, it is vital for us to be informed and aware of where our products originate. It can be easy to look at these labels once and then never look back. We are all guilty of not taking a few minutes to think deeply about where the clothes we wear every day come from.

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Self-evaluation as the stepping stone to showing gratitude

Oftentimes, life gets to be a little busy for us and we find ourselves coasting and not really taking the chance to step back, take a breath and appreciate what is right in front of us. I know that this year, I was definitely guilty of that. However, after actually sitting down and doing a self-evaluation with myself, I realized that this year, I was truly blessed in ways that I never even knew.

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Dressember FAQ: "Isn't it the government's responsibility to do something about this?"

Here at Dressember we spend much of our time and resources advocating for trafficking victims at home and abroad. A question we often receive is, “Isn't it the responsibility of the government to address social issues like human trafficking?” It’s a sensible question—after all, if governments are not protecting their citizens, who will? Indeed, as of 2018, human trafficking is illegal in all 50 United States, (beginning with Washington in 2003), and is recognized as a global crime. There are a variety of state, federal and global laws and acts in place to prosecute traffickers and protect victims.

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Thoughtfully Approaching Black Friday

80% of the hands making the clothes we wear every day are the hands of young women. The vast majority are between 18-24 years old, and these women go home with an average of $3 a day. This is, by definition, exploitation: “The action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.” We would not blink an eye at buying a shirt on sale for $13, much less $3, and yet for thousands of women, they are ill-treated and forced to live on amounts we cannot fathom.

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From Passivity to Passion: My Journey to Advocacy

From the time I applied to go to Cambodia I began using the topic of human trafficking for just about everything. If I needed to write a paper - that was my topic. If I needed to do a report - it was focused on human trafficking. If I needed to give a presentation - you bet I was going to find a way to work human trafficking into it.

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