Hidden No More
It can be hard to feel like you can help end human trafficking when Dressember is still months away. How can you have an impact without the consistently classy outfits that double as conversation starters? There are many ways to stay involved, however, and because there are more people trapped in slavery now than ever before, it’s vital for all of us to speak up and take action year round.
There are many ways to be engaged year-round in anti-human trafficking work, and International Justice Mission (IJM), one of our grant partners, has a way for you to help right now! IJM is an organization made up of lawyers, investigators, social workers, community activists and more working globally in their 17 field offices. They focus on “justice for the poor” -- a group that includes victims of slavery, sex trafficking, sexual violence, police brutality, land theft, and citizens rights abuse--and have an effective model that has been recognized by the U.S. State Department. They are doing incredible work around the world and are calling on you to help!
IJM recently released their Hidden No More campaign, a digital march to encourage our representatives to protect foreign aid spending, and it only takes 20 seconds to participate! Instead of all of us physically going to our capitol buildings or marching around the city, IJM is compiling a video that shows how many of us care about the safeguarding of foreign aid funds. By each of us taking 20 seconds to record ourselves asking our representatives to protect this funding, we show them that this is an issue important to us and that we believe freeing those in slavery is worth the cost.
These funds are unbelievably important to anti-human trafficking efforts because they help fund programs that move the needle forward to rescue those in slavery. The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act (EMSIA) passed by the American Congress in 2016 set out to raise $1.5 billion dollars, $250 million of which would come from the United States government, to help “contribute to the freeing and sustainable recovery of victims of modern slavery, prevent individuals from being enslaved, and enforce laws to punish individual and corporate perpetrators of modern slavery,” along with achieving a 50% reduction of modern slavery in the areas the EMSIA operates. If the foreign aid finances are cut, the EMSIA would not receive this funding. Congress already passed this bill and now we need to encourage them to follow through on financing it.
"By each of us taking 20 seconds to record ourselves asking our representatives to protect this funding, we show them that this is an issue important to us and that we believe freeing those in slavery is worth the cost."
When we raise our voices up together, Congress can’t ignore us. Their job is to represent us, and they want to do that well so that they can remain in office. They want to listen and hear what is important to their districts, and with this digital march, it will be hard not to hear our requests. Any mode of communication that you use to reach out to your representatives can be impactful, and when you call, email, snail mail, etc. your requests are recorded. This is why Hidden No More has the power to be incredibly impactful. For this campaign, you don’t even have to talk to another person. Simply record a message of yourself, just like if you were taking a selfie or FaceTime-ing a friend, and fill in the blanks in the script provided by IJM:
“Hi, my name is [Your First & Last Name] and I live in [City, State]. Today, there are 40 million people living in slavery around the world, more than any time in history. I am showing you my face on behalf of those who are still hidden in slavery. Please protect the 2019 foreign aid funding that will make rescue possible and help end slavery for good.”
"When we raise our voices up together, Congress can’t ignore us. Their job is to represent us."
See, it’s that simple! Don’t know who your representatives are? Don’t worry, IJM provides that information for you. All you have to do is enter your zip code for them to find your reps. It can be scary to speak out to those in power, but the Hidden No More Campaign makes it a smooth process.
You have until March 14th to record your video and convince all of your friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances to do the same. Then, IJM is going to compile all of the videos into one long “march” and send it to the representatives. They will then see how many people care about the protection of foreign funding. When we show them how important this is to us, they will have to listen and fight to protect the funds that will help rescue those trapped in slavery.
Let's take action
1. Make your 20-second video today.
It’s simple: Head to ijm.org/hiddennomore & read directly from the script, or make it your own!
2. Share the campaign video.
3. Take 10 minutes to post an Instagram story OR record a short video challenging/inspiring your followers, friends, and family to join you.
Here's a sample post to get you started:
March with me, @Friend1 & @Friend2. I’m sending a message to Congress that slavery has to end. Make your video today to join me: bit.ly/thedigitalmarch #HiddenNoMore
Together, we can be sure that those trapped in slavery are #HiddenNoMore
About the Author
Ali Pollard is a winter gal at heart who loves trying new things and traveling to new places. When she's not finishing her homework or consuming absurd amounts of coffee, she loves skiing and playing the saxophone. Ali is hoping to turn her passion for human rights into a career as she studies the sociology of law, criminology, and deviance (yes, that's all one major!) and political science at the University of Minnesota.