In 2021, 30 people gathered at The Sanctuary in Romania for a Freedom Summit. These anti-trafficking advocates created a strategy for reaching out across Europe with the keys to unlocking freedom for those enslaved.
Those individuals gathered realized there was already a vast network of Romanians who lived across Europe and wanted to activate an alliance. We realized the ripple effect that was possible. One person trained with connections in other countries meant more doors opening. One volunteer with the power to recognize traffickers meant more survivors finding freedom.
In March of 2021 over 300 individuals gathered in Western Europe and pledged to support the Freedom Highway and fight to end trafficking.
Two years later the Freedom Highway is expanding in ways we never imagined. Stay tuned all month long as we share the building blocks of this path to freedom, how all the pieces fit together to form a robust network, and how your support means one step closer to saying, “Slavery no more!”
We set out with the goal of unlocking transformation for trafficking survivors. We quickly realized that aftercare and healing go hand in hand with prevention. We believe we can work together towards ending human trafficking once and for all. This is possible with the right strategy and the right people. We brought experts from around the world together who have crafted an approach to do this.
The road ends with transformation. Survivors of human trafficking have a safe place to go, get world-class aftercare, and a chance to overcome trauma and reiterate into society. But how do they get there?
That’s where the strategy of blanketing Romania and beyond with anti-trafficking knowledge and practices comes in! The more people know, the more they can prevent trafficking from happening in the first place. They can recognize survivors and know what to do to help them. And they can connect them to places on the Freedom Highway for protection and healing.
The Uncaged team is just one part of the Freedom Highway. We cannot end something as big as the massive criminal enterprise of human trafficking alone. That’s why it’s so important to share our knowledge and best practices with abolitionists everywhere.
First, comes training people and sending them out into their communities. They have connections and they tell others how to protect themselves. Individual connections turn into alliances with churches, educators, businesses, social workers, healthcare workers, hospitality workers, police, government officials, and on and on.
In 2001 the Freedom Highway started with 30, then grew to 300. We shared recently that just this year, our team has trained over 2000 individuals. Can you imagine what that number will become when they share what they’ve learned and live it out?
The Freedom Highway is growing every day!
A Path to Freedom
In 2021 there were 58 women tucked in safe houses across Europe. The Freedom Highway found many of them and connected them. This network of individuals made sure thee survivors stayed stable and supported.
Earlier this year, we shared an incredible story about a businessman we trained in Romania. His new knowledge about how to recognize a survivor of human trafficking paid off within weeks. A battered woman showed up at his doorstep. He realized she had just escaped from her trafficker. His family hid her in their apartment until our team could get her to a hospital. Tamara is free because this member of the Freedom Highway knew what to do!