SOURCE: United Against Slavery

United Against Slavery

November 05, 2015 09:03 ET

Announcing the First and Largest Anti-Trafficking National Outreach

KNOXVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - November 05, 2015) - Human trafficking is the face of modern day slavery, not just throughout the world, but here in the United States. Innocent men, women, boys and girls lose their freedom and are exploited through sex and labor trafficking and domestic servitude. Over the years, awareness has increased where a larger population is aware of its existence, more victims are freed from enslavement and more exploiters are being held accountable. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to combat human trafficking and many wonder why there are never enough aftercare resources for survivors such as housing, clothing, food, job training and more. There is an increasingly united voice across our country, calling for changes in the fight against human trafficking to address the challenges facing survivors and stakeholders in this fight. Ongoing media reports cover these challenges, calling for accountability and transparency among anti-trafficking organizations.

"With so much collaborative growth in the anti-trafficking movement, we have reached a vital time where we need to take a step back to evaluate where we have been, where we are and where we need to go," says Christi Wigle, Founder of United Against Slavery. "There is so much division in our country on many issues that we have made it virtually impossible for anyone to share their opinion on something without receiving backlash. It's time that we find common ground and become unified on pertinent issues once again. We believe the 2016 National Outreach will provide a platform to allow every adult to use their voice to impact change in the fight against trafficking."

United Against Slavery (UAS) will join anti-trafficking leaders from across the country to host the first and largest anti-trafficking National Outreach our country has ever had. On Jan 11, 2016, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, there will be an unprecedented online event for research and data collection among twelve stakeholders groups in the fight against trafficking. Each stakeholder group will receive a survey with unique questions.

Stakeholder Groups to be Surveyed: The groups have been identified as trafficking survivors, anti-trafficking organizations, anti-trafficking advocates, Domestic Violence Shelters, law enforcement, attorneys, DCS Commissioners, rescue organizations, transportation, media, concerned citizens and international anti-trafficking organizations. The surveys address four main challenges: lack of funding, outdated statistics, lack of best practices and division among leaders. Many hours of research and development and collaborative teamwork has been imperative to create a platform that didn't just discuss the issues but provide a place to offer solutions.

Although the National Outreach has a focus on domestic trafficking in all 50 states, victims are trafficked in and out of the United States, so UAS will also reach out to international anti-trafficking organizations in 132 countries/areas with a custom survey. For some of the surveys, an oversight organization will email the surveys to their recipients; otherwise, UAS will send out the brief surveys to be completed between Jan 11 - Feb 11, 2016. At the conclusion of the National Outreach, the evidence-based data will be analyzed and comprehensive reports will be written to open the door to help create solutions to these challenges.

"Accountability is lacking from many agencies throughout the U.S. regarding human trafficking," says Anna Rodriguez, Founder of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Senior Adviser to UAS. "We have allowed it to get out of control as a result of sensationalism, inaccurate and misleading statistics usage and a lack of focus on the victims of the crime. United Against Slavery was created to realign the movement by creating uniform trainings, promoting accurate information gathering, providing technical assistance and by creating a vetting process that will assist donors in giving to front-line organizations producing verifiable results. We must move to a victim-centric approach."

Survey leaders will be challenged to create unique questions that will be included on the survey in order to bring as many groups together as possible.

"Allowing experts to write the questions for the final survey in their field of expertise is imperative because they know the challenges being faced first hand," Wigle adds. "We are honored to serve alongside so many credible leaders that desire significant change in the anti-trafficking movement so that we can provide the necessary help to all victims of human trafficking."

Survey Leaders currently include: Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Polaris Project, Rescue Forensics, Airline Ambassador's International, Global Center for Women and Justice, Amara Legal Center, A Bridge of Hope, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Breaking Out, Cause Vision, Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery, Human Trafficking Legal Network, Dr. Judy Ho, Ph.D., ABPP, Paul Freese (former Vice President of Public Counsel), John Vanek (Lt. (Ret.) San Jose Police Human Trafficking Task Force), Andrew Gonzalez (Head Investigator for the LAPD Human Trafficking Taskforce), and United Against Slavery. To view an updated Survey Leader's list for first 2016 National Outreach, please visit View Survey Leaders Here.

Anti-Trafficking Stakeholders and Concerned Citizens: As preparation for the upcoming National Outreach, United Against Slavery asks for every adult to pre-register and help spread the word about this important domestic outreach. All surveys will be emailed to participants on Jan 11, 2016, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The 2016 National Outreach will remain open until Feb 11. The concerned citizen survey will require less than 5 minutes to complete for most participants. This is an opportunity for every adult to take a few moments to provide vital information and impact change in the fight against trafficking. Individuals interesting in having their voice heard can pre-register at Pre-Register and Stand United.

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