COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Saturday is World Day Against Human Trafficking in Persons, a day designated by the United Nations in 2013.
“On July 30th, each year, the world kind of comes together to mark and recognize World Day Against Trafficking in Persons,” said Preston Goff, creative director for Exodus Road in Colorado Springs.
Anti-human trafficking organizations said at its core, it’s about global awareness.
“All countries are affected by labor and sex trafficking and we do everything that we can to try to eradicate modern day slavery,” said Jo-Ann O’Neil, vice chair for the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado.
This year’s theme is technology.
“We leverage technology to do the work in investigation in a really unique way,” Goff said. “We also leverage it to build advocacy and build awareness for the common person about this issue of human trafficking.”
Organizations for the eradication of human trafficking said they are optimistic about the work leaders and average people are doing.
“Everyone has a role to play in seeing the end of slavery in our lifetime. And I really believe if we can all shift our focus together, then we might actually see that come to fruition,” Goff said.
“To see the level of passion that people have across the state, this issue just keeps me going,” O’Neil said. “And on the days that it’s difficult for me to think that this is still happening and are we making a difference? I know that we are.”
Some things experts recommend doing on this day are:
- Read on the history of trafficking — This may include research how international organizations have handled it so far.
- Donate to shelters for trafficking victims — You can donate clothes and other goods to shelters for victims of human trafficking, which goes a long way.
- Offer jobs to survivors of trafficking — If you are in the position to do so, you can help them get back on their feet by providing them with employment.
An American racecar driver is using his platform to raise awareness for the problem of human trafficking as he races across Europe. Rob Hodes started supporting The Exodus Road in Colorado Springs in 2020 after a visit to Thailand where he learned of the horrific reality of sex trafficking.
Hodes said he ran into the CEOs of the organization by chance and their values aligned with his in a way where he knew he wanted to support their mission.
“When Rob had the idea to come to us, we were absolutely thrilled because that’s just a great opportunity to put the issue in front of, you know, thousands of people around the world,” Goff said.
He said he couldn’t think of a better way to spread awareness than donate the entirety of his racecar’s advertising space to The Exodus Road.
“I got involved because of seeing some horrific things through young children on the on the sex slavery and trafficking side. But human trafficking is just so enormous. There’s no place for it in our world today,” Hodes said.
You can follow his journey here.