Written by Andrea Koverman, SC
The driving spring rains did not deter a group of impressively civic-minded citizens from coming out to learn about local efforts to address human trafficking. As IJPC’s program manager, I was invited to participate as part of a panel discussion at the quarterly informational event which is a joint initiative of Salvation Army’s End Slavery Cincinnati and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. This first event of the 2016 season featured a presentation and discussion of ten documentaries and films about various forms of trafficking. The discussion centered on effective use of media resources with various audiences for a variety of purposes and was facilitated by Bhumika Patel of ESC. The other panelists included Lisa Eubanks, a teacher at Ross High School and a member of the ESC training team, and Mariah Long, Program Manager of End Slavery Now at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Members of the audience participated in an engaging conversation, sharing their own experiences and asking meaningful questions.
Several of the highlighted resources are free via the internet and a great place to start or build upon your own understanding and awareness of this critical and growing issue. These would also be excellent to use in your own discussion groups.
Visit the Freedom Project to access a series of articles, short videos, 20-40 minute long documentaries, and other resources about different forms of human trafficking all over the world that are included in the CNN Freedom Project. It is an on-going special project designed to highlight the voices of survivors, share the stories of success, and illustrate the complexities of sex and labor trafficking. Some content is for mature audiences, but there are also selections appropriate for use with middle and high school students.
The “Faces of Human Trafficking” video series includes discussion guides for each video. The series was created by the Office of Victims of Crime in order to educate service providers, law enforcement and other community members covering topics such as sex and labor trafficking, effective victim services, the legal rights and needs of victims, and the experiences of exploited youth. There are nine short videos with discussion guides, fact sheets. Spanish subtitles are also available.
MTV has also joined the effort in raising awareness about trafficking through their MTV EXIT campaign. The campaign offers multi-lingual documentaries, music videos, and PSAs that address global sex and labor trafficking. Some content is for very mature audiences only, though some would be appropriate for some high school audiences.