“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None, but ourselves can free our minds.
Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?”
~ Robert Nester Marley
In this section we offer some links to many organizations related to human trafficking. We highly encourage you to get started here and continue to do more research on your own.
For a more thorough list of resources, including source materials and links to other organizations, go to our “Info & Links” page on our Message Board. To view a great many studies and reports, look through the “Files” section of our Meetup.com site.
The following links were compiled by Christa Hillstrom under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
- International Labor Organization – The tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent work throughout the world.
- International Organization for Migration – An intergovernmental organization established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – runs the Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking public awareness campaign, which established Rescue and Restore coalitions in 24 cities, regions and States. These community action groups are comprised of NGO leaders, academics, students, law enforcement agents, and other key stakeholders who are committed to addressing the problem of human trafficking in their own communities.
- U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons – Provides the tools to combat trafficking in persons and assists in the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts both worldwide and domestically.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – As the only United Nations entity focusing on the criminal justice element of these crimes, the work that UNODC does to combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.
- Free the Slaves – an organization made up of people who don’t want to live in a world with slavery, and are willing to do something about it. There are no easy answers to eradicating slavery. But there are answers from the people who are enslaved and those helping them to freedom.
- Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships – One of the primary missions of HTAP is to help communities form their own unique entities to combat human trafficking. You can organize your community by pulling together the people and groups that know how to deal with criminals and victims. As an individual citizen, you have more power than you think, but you need to know how to use it. Our organization wants to help you get started. You don’t have to “reinvent the wheel”. But only you, as a leader of your community, along with other leaders, can create a successful movement to eradicate human trafficking, because only you know what your community wants and needs.
- Humanity United – Since 2007, Humanity United has convened the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), as part of our broad efforts to strengthen and foster coordination among the U.S.-based anti-slavery movement. Humanity United is also currently developing its understanding of slavery in the communities where the problem is most acute (mostly in Asia), working to identify meaningful solutions through direct engagement in those regions.
- International Justice Mission – International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local governments to ensure victim rescue, to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the community and civic factors that promote functioning public justice systems. IJM’s justice professionals work in their communities in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems.
- Not For Sale Campaign – equips and mobilizes Smart Activists to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe. The major obstacle that we face in the fight against modern-day slavery is that the crime is hidden. Individuals that work in the field know that slavery is not part of the current collective consciousness. Initially, it shocks the general public to learn that slavery still exists and is widespread. It is even more shocking for them to realize that it may exist in their own backyards. We need to shift to a paradigm that recognizes the possibility of slavery in order to be able to identify it. When the paradigm shifts, a new wave of activists will respond in creative ways. That being the case, the pioneer generation of activists against human trafficking must re-evaluate how we communicate the issue to our networks.
- Polaris Project – Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002. Polaris Project’s comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking includes conducting direct outreach and victim identification, providing social services and transitional housing to victims, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) serving as the central national hotline on human trafficking, advocating for stronger state and Federal anti-trafficking legislation, and engaging community members in local and national grassroots efforts.
- Stop Modern Slavery – Based in the Washington, D.C. area, seeks to leverage the power of the community to help build a better world, one without modern slavery and human trafficking, which involve the complete control of one person by another for the purpose of economic exploitation.
Focusing on labor rights and economic justice
- Coalition of Immokalee Workers – a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. CIW fights for, among other things: a fair wage for work, more respect on the part of bosses and industries, better and cheaper housing, stronger laws and stronger enforcement against those who would violate workers’ rights, the right to organize on jobs without fear of retaliation, and an end to indentured servitude in the fields.
- The Dalit Freedom Network – partners with the Dalits in India, in their quest for freedom, justice, and human dignity by mobilizing human, intellectual, and financial resources.
- Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International – 24 organizations working to secure a better deal for producers. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, they set international Fairtrade standards and support Fairtrade producers.
- GoodWeave – works to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia.
- International Labor Rights Forum – an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide.
- TransFair USA – The Fair Trade Certified™ Label guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product. Fair Trade Certification is currently available in the U.S. for coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, flowers, sugar, rice, and vanilla. TransFair USA licenses companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on products that meet strict international Fair Trade standards.
- Verité – A global advocate for workers. Through our understanding of the perspectives of workers, we find solutions to human rights violations in good business practices. We work to remove dangers and abuses in workplaces around the world by providing knowledge, skills and tools to workers, employers, multinational companies, NGOs, trade unions, investors and governments.
Focusing on Women’s Rights and Sexual Welfare
- Apne Aap – Apne Aap prevents sex trafficking by building the capacity of girls, women and children in red-light areas and slums to get access to education, livelihoods other than prostitution, and safe housing by organizing themselves in small co-operatives. It works in Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal. Apne Aap means self help in Hindi.
- Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation – CAASE believes it is possible to stop sexual exploitation by directly addressing the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or tacitly support sexually exploitive acts against people. To accomplish our mission, CAASE: seeks legal repercussions on behalf of survivors against perpetrators of sexual harm; advocates for policies and legislation that hold sexual exploiters accountable; creates and implements prevention initiatives, including the provision of safe spaces for survivors to give testimony about their experiences; and develops resources that empower individuals and communities to stand with victims of sexual harm and take powerful actions against sexual exploiters.
- Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s human rights by working internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms. Founded in 1988, CATW was the first international non-governmental organization to focus on human trafficking, especially sex trafficking of women and girls.
- Dreamcatcher Foundation – A community-based organization founded by survivors of Chicago’s sex trade, designed to meet the needs of girls and young women who are subject to every kind of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. They are almost guaranteed a short life of poverty, terminable disease, early pregnancy, and addiction. These girls and women desperately want to improve their circumstances, but cannot do it without help.
- Fair Fund – a D.C. based international nonprofit organization, works to prevent human trafficking and sexual violence in the lives of youth, especially girls, around the world. FAIR Fund builds the capacity of communities to better identify and assist youth aged 11 to 24 who are at high risk or have been exploited via human trafficking and sexual violence. FAIR Fund has active programs in Bosnia, Chicago, Illinois, Serbia, Russia, Washington, D.C, and Uganda.
- GEMS – the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS has helped hundreds of young women and girls, ages 12-21, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and to develop to their full potential. GEMS provides young women with empathetic, consistent support and viable opportunities for positive change.
- Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women – an Alliance of more than 100 non-governmental organisations from across the world. Member organizations include migrant rights organizations; anti-trafficking organizations; self-organised groups of migrant workers, domestic workers, survivors of trafficking and sex workers; human rights and women’s rights organisations; and direct service providers. GAATW sees the phenomenon of human trafficking intrinsically embedded in the context of migration for the purpose of labor, and therefore promotes and defends the human rights of all migrants and their families against the threat of an increasingly globalized labor market and calls for safety standards for migrant workers in the process of migration and in the formal and informal work sectors – garment and food processing, agriculture and farming, domestic work, sex work – where slavery-like conditions and practices exist.
- Prajwala – founded by the inspirational Indian activist Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala dedicates itself to the rescue and rehabilitation of women and children who are victims of sex trafficking in India.
- La Strada International – a network of nine independent women’s rights NGOs in the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Moldova. It aims to prevent trafficking in human beings, especially women and children in Central and Eastern Europe.
- Shared Hope International – exists to rescue and restore women and children in crisis. They are leaders in a worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery through education and public awareness.
- Somaly Mam Foundation – Founded by sexual slavery survivor Somaly Mam, the foundation works to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors so they can create and sustain lives of dignity. The foundation supports survivor rescue, shelter and rehabilitation programs globally with a special focus on Southeast Asia, where the trafficking of women and girls, some as young as five, is a widespread practice. The Somaly Mam Foundation also runs awareness and advocacy campaigns in North American and around the world that shed light on the crime of human trafficking and focus on getting the public and governments involved in the fight to abolish modern day slavery.
- Vital Voices – identifies, trains, and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world for us all; at the forefront of international coalitions to combat human trafficking and other forms of violence against women and girls.
Make the Connections : News & Research
- BBC Special Reports: Slavery – Collected video reportage on modern-day slavery from the BBC.
- Change.org / End Human Trafficking – Change.org’s blog covering human trafficking. They also publish blogs on other relevant issues, like global poverty, human rights, andsustainable food.
- Common Dreams – a national nonprofit, progressive, nonpartisan citizens’ organization of writers, activists, and more, united by common dreams of peace and security, equal opportunity, and meaningful participation in our society.
- Democracy Now! – Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other.
- End Slavery Now – a nonprofit resource organization supporting the work of grassroots activists and anti-trafficking organizations. Their mission is to grow and advance the movement by sharing and consolidating resources, best practices, and events. ESN leverages the power of the Internet combined with database technology to empower members of the anti-trafficking movement to efficiently coordinate their efforts to combat slavery; to share information with partners and stakeholders; to coordinate grassroots efforts through social networking; and to make meaningful contributions in the anti-trafficking movement.
- Forced Migration – written by the Refugee Studies Center at the University of Oxford, this blog covers issues related to human displacement.
- Foreign Policy in Focus – a “Think Tank Without Walls” connecting the research and action of more than 600 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.
- Free2Work – a resource and database for consumers, produced by the Not For Sale Campaignand the International Labor Rights Forum. Grades companies based on fair and responsible practices.
- Global Voices Online – a community of more than 300 bloggers and translators around the world who work together to bring you reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.
- Human Rights Watch – one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, HRW gives voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. The rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For 30 years, HRW has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.
- The Human Trafficking Project – a New York-based non-profit organization that utilizes art and technology to raise awareness of modern day slavery, connect those working to combat the issue and support trafficking survivors.
- InfoChange India – a resource base that provides news, views, perspectives and debates on crucial issues of sustainable development and social justice in India and South Asia.
- IRIN News – IRIN’s principal role is to provide news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia for the humanitarian community. It is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
- Labor is Not a Commodity – a collaborative blog space where organizations concerned with international labor rights issues can post comments about current events in labor news. Current participants are the International Labor Rights Forum, STITCH, SweatFree Communities, and The US/Labor Education in the Americas Project (US/LEAP).
- Migrant Rights – A blog aiming to raise awareness on the plight of migrant/expatriate workers in the Middle East. Through the power of the web we wish to raise awareness about the plight of migrant workers in the Middle East and encourage social action to end the violations of their human rights and dignity. Unfortunately, very little is done to prevent the modern-day slavery many workers endure in the region. Our job is to change that.
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – We reveal stories about freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom today. Our purpose is to tell the story of the struggle for freedom in the United States through exhibits and programs that focus on America’s battle to rid itself of the ugly scourge of slavery and treat all its citizens with respect and dignity.
- The North Star – the blog of the Polaris Project. Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002.
- Pambazuka News – Through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South, Pambazuka News disseminates analysis and debate on the struggle for freedom and justice.
- Round Earth Media – dedicated to telling the important stories that happen every day, stories that get lost in the daily news cycle. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals inspired us when creating the list of issues we address. Public understanding of these important every day issues is essential if the world is to achieve these critical goals – including poverty alleviation, education, public health, fair immigration, environmental welfare, and women’s rights.
- Truthdig – a news site that provides expert coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. The site is built around reports by authorities in their fields who conduct in-depth exploration of contemporary topics.
- Yes! Magazine – a nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world.
Recommended authors on slavery and more
- Kevin Bales
- Noam Chomsky
- Paul Farmer
- Eduardo Galeano
- Michele Goodwin
- Chris Hedges
- bell hooks
- Naomi Klein
- Kalle Lasn
- Annie Leonard
- Victor Malarek
- Loretta Napoleani
- Raj Patel
- John Pilger
- Samantha Power
- Arundhati Roy
- P. Sainath
- Juliet Schor
- Jeremy Seabrook
- Devinder Sharma
- Vandana Shiva
- E. Benjamin Skinner
- Susan Sontag
- Howard Zinn
Cost of Coercion
International Labor Organization, May 2009
Global Report on Trafficking in Persons
United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, February 2009
Trafficking in Persons Definition
Wisconsin Department of Justice, 2008
Trafficking in Persons Report
US State Department, 2008
HumanTrafficking.Org/publications: Excellent resource for publications by subject.
Books by Kevin Bales:
The Slave Next Door, June 18, 2009
Ending Slavery, December 10, 2008
To Plead Our Own Cause, June 1, 2008
New Slavery, July 26, 2005
Understanding Global Slavery, November 7, 2005
Disposable People, November 16, 2004
By E. Benjamin Skinner
‘A Crime So Monstrous’, March 11, 2008