I’ve heard it time and time again. Human trafficking doesn’t happen in…my rural area, my district, my zip code. But I’ve seen the faces of local victims. I’ve heard and read their stories about being sold and abused right here in our own backyards.
Crowdmap, matched with the skill and time of a great volunteer, David Taylor, plus the fabulous help of Ushahidi in accomplishing our goals, gave us the End Slavery Tennessee Case Map, a tool that effectively shows people that human trafficking and slavery does indeed happen right where they live. That said, the map shows only the tip of the iceberg – the cases that actually make it to court and get coverage by the media – but it’s enough to convince the change makers that this travesty does happen in their world, and that they need to pay attention.
Who are these change makers?
- Legislators who will sponsor or back bills needed to make systemic changes.
- Media who will cover the topic and open viewer’s eyes, so people correctly interpret the suspicious signs they may be seeing.
- Professionals who are motivated to call us for training, so they are equipped to help survivors.
- Targeted youth who read the stories and make more prudent decisions or recognize trafficking in their peer group and report it.
- Community members who start noticing the steady stream of men going in and out of the house next door or the child they sometimes see in a yard but who never leaves the house, and with this new awareness will understand what might be going on and call the state Human Trafficking Hotline or our agency.
Now that Crowdmap shines a light on human trafficking, we are without excuse. Both justice and mercy now compel us to come together to end slavery.
We’d like to thank Derri, David and the whole ESTN team for helping us troubleshoot and resolve some Crowdmap bugs. Not only are they leading change with their project, they are contributing to our community by helping others. Thanks!