It’s really important to me to give back specifically within area of human trafficking and empowering women around the world. When not working in interaction design, I am passionate about affecting change in the world and ending modern day slavery. I support and work with various organization to help see an end to this fast growing industry. Hiring me means a percentage of my earnings goes towards these incredible organizations.

Human Trafficking does NOT:

  • mean smuggling or forced movement
  • require transportation or border crossing
  • happen only outside the US border or to immigrants and foreign nationals
  • require physical force, abuse, or restraint
  • mean that the victim did not consent or was never paid

Human Trafficking is described as the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slaveryforced labor or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy and ova removal. Trafficking is a lucrative industry, representing an estimated $32 billion per year in international trade, compared to the estimated annual $650 billion for all illegal international trade circa 2010.

According to the Polaris Project, the numbers who are trafficked are largely unknown. However, it is estimated that 27 million people worldwide are living in slavery today (California has a population of 37 million). Out of these, 70% are female and 50% are children. Hundreds of thousands of US citizen minors are estimated to be at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.  The average are of entry into prostitution is between 12 & 13 in the US.

As pointed out in the below video done by the Body Shop UK, women and children involved in sex trafficking lose more then just their names.

It has devastating effects and some never recover from the amount of abuse they suffer.  Others go on to fight the industry itself and are some of the most inspiring stories out there.

Some of the organizations I support (with time and/or money) are:

  • Not for SaleNOT FOR SALE FIGHTS MODERN-DAY SLAVERY AROUND THE WORLD. Using business creation, supply chain evaluation and aftercare aid around the globe. By creating enterprise for vulnerable communities, offering social services to survivors and those at-risk to human trafficking, and evaluating the use of forced labor in mainstream supply chains, Not For Sale works to make sure no one is for sale.
  • The Sold Project:We are people passionate about preventing child prostitution: our goal is that no child ever be exposed to a life of exploitation. The SOLD Project Scholarship Fund was founded in May 2008 when we learned that many children drop out of school due to poverty and end up in situations of exploitation. We began offering educational scholarships to children at risk of exploitation: partnering up a student with a sponsor [you!]. A year later our scholarship program grew into the more holistic, The FREEDOM Project. The FREEDOM Project is made up of 1) Scholarships 2) Mentorship for every child that is sponsored 3) A resource center for the community and 4) Human Trafficking Awareness Programs at the school starting in every 6-grade classroom to teach the children about the realities of human trafficking and prostitution.
  • Because Justice Matters: To reach women who are victims of sexual exploitation and domestic violence, and offer support to those experiencing isolation due to economic and cultural challenges.
  • Solace: Since 2008, we’ve partnered with men and women working within the adult entertainment industry. our objective is to meet immediate needs as well as set up each individual for long term success physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Freedom House: is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to bring hope, restoration, and a new life to survivors of human-trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare. In August 2010, Freedom House launched The Monarch, the first safe house in Northern California for adult female survivors of human trafficking. The Nest, a residential shelter for minors, is set to open in late 2013.
  • Spark SF: We aim to increase the overall investment in women’s organizations around the world and we aim to increase the number of young people who give to women’s causes now and plan to continue in the long-term.

Some of the projects I have done or are in process of doing to help end trafficking and better lives of those at risk or those that have been victimized are:

  • Spark SF: Consulted with their board members to help overall the architecture and design of their web site to the new look and feel
  • Mobile Elephant Project: Designing a curriculum to teach kids how to build, design, & market their own mobile apps
  • Designing a text based system for victims to reach out to find information about how they can be rescued from trafficking

If you are curious about how you can join the movement to fight trafficking, there’s a ton of resources out there! A simple Google search can give you a bunch of organizations you can get involved in. Alternatively, the government has posted a lengthy list of how you can get involved.