The following blog post was co-written by Laura Hoagland and Lori Skinner.
During the month of January, advocates, organizations, and individuals around the globe are uniting to raise awareness about the hidden issue of human trafficking.
At Southwest, our Heart is to take care of people and do what’s right by championing our communities, and we are proud to support organizations that combat human trafficking like Polaris, United Against Human Trafficking, and Rethreaded. Their programs and services aid in identification, rescue, restoration, and/or prevention efforts. Through monetary and ticket donations, Southwest supports these organizations in fulfilling their valuable missions and making an impact in the lives of those affected.
According to Homeland Security, every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. By definition, human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation and generates an estimated $150 billion of profit per year.
While human trafficking does not always involve the movement, traveling, or transportation of people, of the estimated 24.9 million victims of human trafficking every year (according to the International Labour Organization (ILO)), 38 percent of survivors in a Polaris-led focus group said they did travel by plane at some point during their exploitation. And a 2014 Urban Institute report indicates that 71 percent of their surveyed sample of labor trafficking victims arrived in this country via airplane before they were trafficked.
In recognition of the month, we invite you to learn more about the human trafficking issue and the organizations that Southwest supports by visiting their websites and sharing what you learn with colleagues, family, or friends.
Additional Details and to Learn More
Polaris:A leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, Polaris systematically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Polaris’ comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what they do—helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.
United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT): UAHT is dedicated to ending human trafficking through awareness, education, and outreach. This organization identifies those trapped in cycles of exploitation and connects them to direct services. They also educate diverse communities to know and report the signs of human trafficking, while uniting the Greater Houston area against this crime.
Rethreaded: Rethreaded is a mindful gift company that provides long-term employment coupled with mental health services to survivors of human trafficking in Jacksonville, FL. A Repurpose with Purpose partner, Rethreaded's mission is to renew hope, reignite dreams, and release potential for survivors of human trafficking locally and globally through business.