The importance of involving those in the education in the fight against human trafficking cannot be overstressed. Our partners in education are critical in three areas: prevention, increasing awareness, and restoring victims.
Prevention and safety education and training should be age appropriate, and begin as early as elementary school. Why? According to information compiled by the FBI, the average age for girls to become victims is between 12 and 14 years old; boys, age 11; and transgender youth, age 14¹.
Age and audience appropriate prevention training needs to start young. It is our hope to partner with and offer training to more educators who can speak into the lives of children and young adults, from elementary school through college.
Awareness of social justice issues and embracing community service are key components to the development of young people as well, and those in the field of education are critical in growing our communities in these areas. From high school community service projects to educational outreach efforts at the community college and university level, Not Here seeks partners in education to embrace the mission of raising awareness about human trafficking and social injustices, and seeking solutions.
Access to education, to the degree desired, is a critical part of the healing process for victims. Because the average age victims are first trafficked is so young, and because the trauma of being trafficked is so severe, educational opportunities for victims must be sensitive to the holistic well-being of the victim and take a victim centered approach.
Access to general education for those living in poverty is also of fundamental importance in preventing human trafficking. Because those living in poverty, especially generational poverty, are more vulnerable to be exploited, access to quality education and skills training as a means to rise above poverty is of key importance in eradicating human trafficking.