05.06.2020

STOP THE TRAFFIK statement on the #BlackLivesMatter movement

At STOP THE TRAFFIK, we share in the sorrow felt the world over for the tragic losses from the black community.

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor over the last few weeks have spotlighted the lingering injustices faced by the black community: of the structural bias so clearly at play when it comes to matters of police brutality, legislative protection and increased likelihood of incarceration.

STOP THE TRAFFIK deals fundamentally in human trafficking; in instilling communities and stakeholders globally with the knowledge to prevent it from becoming a reality. But at this uncertain time – a period that feels particularly significant in its reach – it would be dissolute not to highlight the link between race and trafficking. To show the scale of the issue: to focus attention on black voices; on organizations conceived specifically to help the black community out of exploitative situations. We have collated a summary of readings, organizations and videos you can watch to further understand the severity of the problem.

STOP THE TRAFFIK remains committed to empowering the vulnerable and bolstering communities globally with the knowledge to prevent trafficking. We will not stop until trafficking is gone, for good.

Reading

Gabrielle Union writes poignantly on the tender issue of race, gender and human trafficking in her essay for Essence magazine.

Vanessa Bouché and Mark Daku’s piece for The Washington Post last year highlights the disproportionate number of young black men prosecuted for crimes relating to human trafficking.

“Anti-trafficking criminal laws are written in such a way that makes it far more likely that young black men are prosecuted significantly more than other perpetrators of human trafficking.”

The Washington Post, 2019

Cheryl Nelson, Assistant Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University has written extensively on the black experience. In her 2015 paper ‘The Racial Roots of Human Trafficking’, she weaves a clear link between young people of colour and America’s commercial sex trade, arguing that socio-economic depravity directly pushes young black people into prostitution.

The Shiva Foundation disseminates trafficking and race, suggesting European cultural attitudes of superiority used to justify exploitation in former colonies have shaped how we consider ethnicity today.

“There is a common underlying assumption that the ethnicity of the trafficked person itself justifies or excuses their exploitation.”

The Shiva Foundation

Video

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If you’re based in the UK and have a TV License, Episode 2 (Trafficking Sex) of Louis Theroux’s 2017 series ‘Dark States’ delves into sex trafficking in the US, broaching the complex relationship between exploiter and exploited. For a small fee, it is also available to watch on YouTube for audiences outside of the UK. 

Further documentaries of note include:

Rehabilitation and support services for the Black Community

In the UK:

In the USA:

Supporting George Floyd

  • You can contribute directly to George’s Memorial Fund here
  • You can contribute directly to support George’s daughter Gianna here
  • To help free Chrystul Kizer, a 19-year-old currently awaiting trial for killing her trafficker, a known child-abuser, sign the petition. Read Chrystul’s story in full here.
  • You can split a donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers here

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