For us, prevention means training. We are committed to training people at all levels of society. Training first responders is an essential part of blanketing nations with anti-trafficking knowledge.
These are the people who are in likely positions to encounter traffickers and their victims. These are people who have influence in their communities and can protect people with the knowledge they are gaining.
Who Are First Responders?
Think about the business leaders in your community. They have influence and connections. They have resources and staff. Imagine what could happen if business leaders learn about how traffickers are targeting members of their community and gain passion in fighting the evil of modern-day slavery! We are seeing this happen in Eastern Europe. Hear one incredible story about how a business leader gained the vision, had his staff trained by our team, and one survivor’s life has already been saved! Imagine the multiplication of this story to hundreds more business leaders and the impact that would make!
An important part of the anti-trafficking strategy is training travel personnel. Knowledgeable staff at airports and train stations can spot a dangerous situation and step in.
According to the International Air Transport Association, four billion passengers pass through 20,000 airports in the world every year. About 20% of all traffickers who pass through official border crossings travel by air. Many more travel by train. If staff in these places don’t know the signs of trafficking, these people can continue to hide in plain sight. We will not let that happen. We are training personnel in Romania and beyond!
The 2022 Trafficking in Persons report indicated that children represent more than a third of identified trafficking victims in Romania. We expect this number to be higher considering the Ukrainian refugees that have been entering the country over the past two years. Children are vulnerable and must know how to protect themselves.
This year we have entered partnerships with more public schools. We’ve been able to provide training for young children on how to identify safe people they can trust. With older children, we talk about the dangers of social media, the dangers of being trapped in dangerous situations, and the typical recruiting plans of traffickers.
We can’t teach this to every child and we can’t be there every day to protect them. But staff and teachers are there each day. They are the first line of defense for their students. Their knowledge of how to help students protect themselves is vital in keeping thousands of children safe!
Did you know that 80% of human trafficking that happens across international borders crosses through official border points such as lang border points and airports?
Border patrol and other workers at points of entry must know how to spot trafficking if we are going to stop this evil practice. When we train border workers we can not only stop victims from being moved across borders, traffickers can be caught! We have seen this happen over the past two years as we’ve trained border workers in Romania and Moldova. Traffickers sat at entry points waiting to target Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. The anti-trafficking knowledge of these front-line responders has saved countless lives!