A.C.T. (Against Child Trafficking)

What is the A.C.T. Challenge?

The Against Child Trafficking (A.C.T.) Challenge is a call to action from The Covering House. We frequently get asked questions like, “How can I help?” or “What can I do?”. We hope this list gives you real, practical ideas about how YOU can make a difference. We want to engage more people in the fight against modern-day slavery and to end it forever. We want you to become an abolitionist today. You have an important voice in the fight.

Educate yourself with The Covering House's A.C.T. Challenge blog posts

Pimp Power and Control – http://thecoveringhouse.org/act-challenge-pimp-power-and-control/

Why St. Louis – http://thecoveringhouse.org/act-challenge-why-st-louis/

Who’s At Risk – http://thecoveringhouse.org/act-challenge-whos-at-risk/

Know the Signs – http://thecoveringhouse.org/act-challenge-know-the-signs/

What is Sex Trafficking? – http://thecoveringhouse.org/act-challenge-what-is-sex-trafficking/

Modern Slavery: An Overview – http://thecoveringhouse.org/act-challenge-modern-slavery-an-overview/

Add tuman trafficking hotline to your phone contacts

Hotline Phone number: 1-888-373-7888
For more information about the Polaris Project visit: www.polarisproject.org.

Be a considerate consumer

a. See how many slaves work for you at: www.slaveryfootprint.org
b. Look at the list of goods produced by child or forced labor: http://www.dol.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods/
c. Encourage companies, including your own, to take steps to investigate and eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains and to publish the information for consumer awareness: http://www.chainstorereaction.com/
d. Purchase items made by trafficking survivors such as from Jewel Girls, Made by Survivors, 3 Strands, Daughters of Cambodia, Agape International Missions, Fair Trade USA, Noonday Collection, Ten Thousand Villages, Revive Store, Global Girlfriend, Made for Freedom.

Read about internet safety

Learn more about internet safety for kids at http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/

Teens internet safety is so important in the fight against trafficking. Learn more at http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/

Learn the red flags of trafficking

a. “Recognizing the Signs” – http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognizing-the-signs
b. “Identify and Assist a Traffickign Victim” – http://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/
c. “Human Trafficking Indicators and Red Flags” – http://www.rescueandrestoreky.org/case-identification/indicators-red-flags/
d. “Know the Red Flags” – http://www.endslaverytn.org/redflags

Where to get help if you suspect a human trafficking case

a. If you believe you have identified someone still in the trafficking situation, alert law enforcement immediately at the numbers provided below. It may be unsafe to attempt to rescue a trafficking victim. You have no way of knowing how the trafficker may react and retaliate against the victim and you. If, however, you identify a victim who has escaped the trafficking situation, there are a number of organizations to whom the victim could be referred for help with shelter, medical care, legal assistance, and other critical services. In this case, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center described below.
b. 911 Emergency – For urgent situations, notify local law enforcement immediately by calling 911. You may also want to alert the National Human Trafficking Resource Center described below so that they can ensure response by law enforcement officials knowledgeable about human trafficking.
c. 1-888-3737-888 National Human Trafficking Resource Center – Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, a national 24-hour, toll-free, multilingual anti-trafficking hotline. Call 1-888-3737-888 to report a tip; connect with anti-trafficking services in your area; or request training and technical assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources. The Center is equipped to handle calls from all regions of the United States from a wide range of callers including, but not limited to: potential trafficking victims, community members, law enforcement, medical professionals, legal professionals, service providers, researchers, students, and policymakers.
d. 1-888-428-7581 U.S. Department of Justice Worker Exploitation Complaint Line – Call the U.S. Department of Justice’s dedicated human trafficking toll-free complaint line at 1-888-428-7581 (weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM EST) to report suspected instances of human trafficking or worker exploitation or contact the FBI field office nearest you .This call is toll-free and offers foreign language translation services in most languages as well as TTY. After business hours, the complaint line has a message service in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.

Organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an anti-trafficking organization

Fundraising Ideas:

Documentary and Panel Discussion/ Movie Night
– “Chosen” – click here for trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xdkNE8Jp9E
This documentary follows two American girls tricked into trafficking. Runs for 20 min.
– “Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth” – click here for trailer: http://sexandmoneyfilm.com/
This documentary focuses on sex trafficking in the U.S. This documentary runs for 92 min.
– “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls” click here for trailer: http://nefariousdocumentary.com/
This focuses on sex trafficking in different parts of the world including the U.S. This documentary has a Christian focus and is 98 min long.
You may also choose different documentary/movie. A representative from The Covering House could do a Q&A session after the film.

Trivia Night
Host a trivia night on behalf of The Covering House. A staff member from the Covering House can come and speak about sex trafficking in the US as well as what we do. You can have the last round based off questions that the speaker from The Covering House talked about, that way people pay attention.

Hometown Cookbook:
Collect favorite recipes from friends, family, co-workers, church members, etc. and create a cookbook. We could add the forward on who The Covering House is and what we do. You could sell the cookbooks on our behalf. We might use it for our girls too!

Wine and Cheese Concert
Get some local bands to put on a concert in a park. Have wine and cheese there. It would be a cool, hipster event.

Buckets for Bucks/Change for Change
Set out a bucket at your work place/church/group/etc. to raise funds by placing their change inside. Set a goal by the end of the month!

Coffee house
Create a relaxed event where people come and drink coffee and desserts. Have some fun entertainment by having people sign up and do a talent show. Have an entrance fee.

Poetry slam evening
Gather all of your artistic friends and put on a poetry slam. Encourage them to write about themes of sex trafficking or The Covering House. Have an entrance fee.

Children’s Fair
Have kids? Know a bunch of people that do have kids? Hold a children’s fair with games, face painting, crafts, entertainment, etc. Have an entrance fee.

5K run
Organize a fun 5k run/walk. Get friends and family to walk for a good cause.

Challenge your co-workers, friends, family, church members, etc. to skip a meal and use the money they would have used on the meal and donate the funds to The Covering House. You could even get really social media with this one and have people take a picture of their empty plate and share why they didn’t eat.

Block parties
Have an awesome neighborhood. Host a block party. This could be a fun potluck event where people bring an entrée to share. Have a jar for donations. Stop everyone sometime during your event to share why you all are there and why you want to support The Covering House!

Themed parties
Host a party and create a fun theme (dress up like your favorite t.v./movie character, western, casino, fiesta/Mexican, sports, etc. Invite friends and family. Have an entrance fee.

Golf tournament
Love golf? Does your spouse love golf? Create a golf tournament and have the proceeds go to The Covering House.

Garage Sale
Need to clean out your garage or basement? Consider having a garage sale and giving the proceeds to The Covering House! You could make this a bigger event and get your neighbors to join you too!

Bake Sale
Who doesn’t love some good baked desserts??? I don’t know of anyone! Get some friends and family to donate their favorite baked good then sell them at your work, church, kid’s school/sports team, etc. Get creative with it!

Swap for a Cause/Swap ‘Til You Drop:
Organize a fun event where ladies can have a guilt free, no cost shopping experience. Collect unwanted clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, accessories, home decor, etc. (all in like new/gently used condition). Have an entry fee for people to come and shop.

Car Wash
Come on, anyone can do a classic car wash! Set up signs the day of and get some dirty cars, clean! Give them information about The Covering House as they get their car cleaned.

Ex. Hair Stylist (Cut-a-Thon), Physical Trainer (personal training sessions) etc.

**To make more money at your event, consider adding an additional gift basket auction, silent auction or online auction beforehand!

If you would like a speaker to come to your event:
Go to this link: http://thecoveringhouse.org/speaker-request-form/ and fill out the Request a Speaker Form to get a speaker from The Covering House to Speak at your event.

Set up a Google alert to receive current human trafficking news

1. Go to Google.com/alerts. If you’ve got a Google account go ahead and login. If you don’t, you can create an account.
2. Put in the keywords you would like to track (e.g. sex trafficking, st. louis, human trafficking, The Covering House, etc.).
3. Manage your alerts. You can get alerts in your inbox.

Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about human trafficking in your community

Trafficking occurs in every state in the U.S. It happens in big cities and small towns. Make your sure community is aware of the risks by writing a Letter to the Editor to your local paper.

Start or sign a human trafficking petition

See if there are any current petitions now: http://www.change.org/topics/humantrafficking

Encourage schools to educate students on trafficking

Encourage your local schools to partner with students and include the issue of modern day slavery in their curriculum. As a parent, educator, or school administrator, be aware of how traffickers target school-aged children. (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osdfs/factsheet.pdf)

Spread the word, educate, and inform others

a. Memorize statistics about human trafficking to inform your friends and areas of influence. (http://thecoveringhouse.org/the-issue/)
b. Use social media to spread the word.

Use your talent/giftings

Use what you do best to make a difference!
For example you can:
– Write a blog
– Paint a picture, display it publicly
– Use sports events to raise awareness and funds
– Write a song
– Create a short film and post it on www.youtube.com
– The possibilities are endless

Educate yourself on pending legislation regarding human trafficking

A major part of prevention is understanding what laws exist (or do not exist) because it gives you the opportunity to advocate for better anti-trafficking measures. You can track what initiatives are being undertaken on a local, state, and national level and call your representatives at crucial moments to ensure that the issue of trafficking remains on the agenda. It is important to knowing the intensity of trafficking in your area and the laws in your region because the laws are what ensure money is allocated for prevention and response efforts.

Use this link to see a list of pending human trafficking laws in your state as well as federal laws: http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/national-policy/all-pending-legislation

The Protected Innocence Challenge (http://sharedhope.org/what-we-do/bring-justice/reportcards/) ranks every state in the country on 41 key policies that every state should have in order to be effective against domestic sex trafficking of children. Each grade shows areas for improvement. What areas of improvement are needed in your state?

Read a book about human trafficking

a. “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade – and How We Can Fight it” -David Batstone
b. “Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children (A Call to Action)” -Linda Smith & Cindy Coloma
c. “Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them” -Julian Sher
d. “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” -Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
e. “The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today” -Kevin Bales & Ron Soodalter
f. “Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World” -Gary Haugen
g. “Terrify No More: Young Girls Held Captive and the Daring Undercover Operation to Win Their Freedom” -Gary Haugen
h. “Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault” -Justin & Lindsey Holcomb
i. “Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce” -John Piper
j. “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery” -Siddharth Kara
k. “Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale: A Memoir” -Rachel Llyod
l. “God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue” -Daniel Walker
m. “Trafficked: A Diary of a Sex Slave” -Sibel Hodge
n. “Sex Trafficking: A Clinical Guide for Nurses” -Mary De Chesnay
o. “Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective” -Louise Shelley
p. “Refuse to do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-day Slavery” -Shayne Moore, Kimberly McOwen Yim, Elisa Morgan
q. “The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking” -Mary Frances Bowley & Louie Giglio
r. “The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine” -Somaly Mam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, & Nicholas Kristof

Watch a movie or documentary about human trafficking

a. “Sex & Money: A National Search for Human Worth” – http://sexandmoneyfilm.com/ – About sex trafficking in the U.S.
b. “Half the Sky” – http://www.halftheskymovement.org/ . Violence against women around the world with a lot of information about sex trafficking.
c. “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls” – http://nefariousdocumentary.com/ – Sex trafficking around the world. Christian perspective.
d. “Chosen” – https://sharedhope.org/2012/12/18/chosen-to-be-released-in-2013/ . A 20 min documentary about sex trafficking in the U.S.
e. “Hearts of Men” – http://www.unearthedpictures.com/ – About killing sexual exploitation and trafficking at its root, in the demand.
f. “Tricked” – http://www.trickedfilm.com/
g. “Not for Sale” – http://notforsalefilm.com/
h. “Playground” – http://campaign13.org/playground-the-film/
i. “Born Into Brothels” – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388789/
j. “Eden” – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1734433/news
k. “Trade of Innocents” – http://tradeofinnocents.com/
l. “Cutting Edge: the Child Sex Trade” – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1034744/
m. “Flesh: A Documentary about Sex Trafficking in the U.S.” – http://www.fleshthemovie.org/
n. “Lives for Sale: A Documentary on Human Trafficking” – http://www.livesforsale.com/
o. “PBS Frontline: Sex Slaves” – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/slaves/
p. “Sex Trafficking in Cambodia by World Hope” – http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/63
q. “When the Saints” – http://whenthesaints.com/

Discourage a culture of exploitation

From the hyper-eroticized and violent films (http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105) to pornography, exploitation of women’s bodies is rampant in our society. That culture normalizes acts of violence, even glamorizes the act of objectifying women.

– How does pornography contribute to trafficking? Traffickers will often start preparing victims for trafficking with online webcams, pornography, and stripping in clubs. Pornography is most often used as a “tool” to train young children and women (http://www.cwfa.org/pornography-and-sex-trafficking/). Worse, the content of porn itself, even not in the hands of traffickers, promotes rape and sexual abuse of children. On hardcore pornography sites, the titles include the words, “Forced Teens”…“School Girls”… “Petite Teen Girls”…“Raped School Girls”…“Barely Legal Teens…” and “Watch Innocent Teens Scream…”

– The normalization of sexual exploitation and objectification and its connection to trafficking becomes clear at events like the Super Bowl. When thousands of fans go to watch the Super Bowl, trafficking in that region increases astronomically. The people who go to watch the Super Bowl (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/03/super-bowl-sex-trafficking_n_2607871.html) are average American sports fans, yet they are also the demand for prostitutes. When buying sex and objectifying women is “normal” in our culture, then “normal” people go to events like these and traffickers shuttle girls in to satisfy the demand for sex.

To make a culture of exploitation not normal, it requires speaking out against the exploitation of women and girls. For more about how to end the perpetuation of exploitation, watch the film, Rape For Profit (http://rapeforprofitfilm.com/).

Find out how YOUR profession is concerned with sex trafficking

Are you an engineer? A banker? Businessperson? Environmental scientist? Whatever your industry—Your profession is concerned with sex trafficking. It might seem obvious how police officers, lawyers, and clinical social workers, psychologists, doctors, nurses, and health care providers are involved in responding to trafficking. They might rescue victims, advocate for a victim in court, or provide treatment for trauma or health concerns. Yet, everyone has a stake in the cause. Here are some examples of industries you might not expect that can fight trafficking in innovative and important ways:

Hotel managers and staff — Managers of hotels in the St. Louis area are urged to include anti-trafficking measures in their policies (http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/mo-hotels-asked-to-help-stop-sex-trafficking/article_d362a719-7d7d-5782-85fe-9b1fa36bd426.html). This is an opportunity for action in the industry! Read about how one woman is making her impact (http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/29/travel/hotel-sex-trafficking).

Truck drivers — Regularly crossing the United States, truck drivers can be the first witnesses of the transit of children across the country for purposes of sexual exploitation. Sometimes drivers are even solicited, as in the case of one truck driver at a travel center near Detroit (http://www.npr.org/2012/10/19/163010142/with-a-phone-call-truckers-can-fight-sex-trafficking). Truck drivers can be an important voice against the issue; become involved at http://truckersagainsttrafficking.org.

Bankers—Banks can be whistle-blowers about human trafficking when they recognize and call out suspicious transactions that are representative of the crime. One initiative, called STAMP, helps financial institutions recognize those suspicious activities that signal transactions often made by traffickers (http://www.americanbanker.com/btn/24_3/aml-and-human-trafficking-1033642-1.html).

Business people—In the business world, it is important to recognize what it means to conduct slavery-free business (http://www.freetheslaves.net/video/becoming-a-slavery-free-business-removing-slavery-from-product-supply-chains/). How about if you are a consumer? Learn what your slavery footprint is with each product you buy (http://slaveryfootprint.org/). Best yet, buy locally.

Engineers—The researchers at the Department of Security and Crime Science at UCL Engineering show how engineering concepts can be applied to prevent sex trafficking (http://www.engineering.ucl.ac.uk/projects/child-sex-trafficking/). They graph networks of traffickers to show how the players in the system are connected and aid investigators in visualizing the links within networks. In other areas, structural engineers have donated services to remodel shelters for survivors of trafficking (http://southwest.construction.com/southwest_construction_projects/2012/1112-remodel-gives-human-trafficking-victims-room-to-dream.asp).

Scientists — Especially those who study the environment and research hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, and other major natural disasters have a role in preventing human trafficking. How? When a hurricane hits New Orleans, an earthquake devastates Haiti (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-blossom/haiti-human-trafficking-o_b_436412.html), conflict and drought impact Somalia (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2011/nov/02/trafficking-on-rise-horn-africa), or a flood strikes Brazil, people are left vulnerable, hungry, and especially susceptible to traffickers. By working to prevent disasters and learning more about how to predict such occurrences, scientists are an important piece in ensuring populations of people are protected and not left vulnerable in the wake of a disaster. The environment is directly tied to the cycle of trafficking and scientists and environmentalists can play a key role in addressing those links (http://www.traffickingproject.org/2009/01/human-trafficking-and-environment.html).

Relief and aid workers — Similar to scientists, disaster response workers can be the first people to see the devastation of a natural event. Recognizing trafficking allows them to be quick to help protect the vulnerable. Read more on the considerations of trafficking in disaster response (http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142750.htm#15).

Communications — Whether you are a journalism, newscaster, web guru, social media consultant or blogger, major news companies and the media/ communications industry as a whole is incredibly powerful in spreading awareness about the issue. Check out this important project run by the CNN Freedom Project (http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/).

Teachers and Professors — Whether you work with middle school or college-aged students, prevention of trafficking begins in the classroom. Professors who work with college populations can more easily engage students in the topic by doing a special lecture on how trafficking interacts with your field. Request that human trafficking be an issue included in university curriculum. Increase scholarship about human trafficking by publishing an article, teaching a class, or hosting a symposium.

Students — Take action on campus. Join or establish a university or secondary school club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. Consider doing one of your research papers on a topic concerning human trafficking.

Attorneys — Look for signs of human trafficking among your clients. (http://nyatn.org/nyatn-publications/). Offer pro-bono services to trafficking victims or anti-trafficking organizations. Learn about and offer to human trafficking victims the legal benefits for which they are eligible. (http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes/victims-human-trafficking-t-nonimmigrant-status/questions-and-answers-victims-human-trafficking-t-nonimmigrant-status-0). Assist anti-trafficking NGOs with capacity building and legal work.

Law Enforcement Officials — Join or start a local human trafficking task force. Find out if there is a task force in your area: http://www.nij.gov/journals/262/pages/human-trafficking-task-forces.aspx.

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