The US 2011 Trafficking in Persons national report included an important insight for today’s online activists. The entire document includes lengthy details regarding the status of human trafficking in nearly every nation of the world, but I mention it here because of one development in which you may have played a part–using social media to stop slavery. The excerpt reads:
As shown in the recent events in the Middle East and North Africa, the growing reach of new and social media platforms has empowered grassroots activists with an unprecedented means to disseminate information and foster popular movements. For a movement such as the fight against modern slavery, which draws much of its strength from grassroots efforts, new media may emerge as powerful tools for identifying victims and bringing their traffickers to justice. Just as modern slavery crosses borders through migrant populations and globalized supply chains, new media can provide international tools for raising awareness, sharing best practices, and demanding government action.
New media is already seeing good use on websites such as www.change.org, which launches petitions and shares news and information to draw attention to human trafficking issues. Whether through issue-specific media, or far-reaching platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the growing capacity of new media allows concerned parties around the world to connect and share information with a speed and breadth of access unimaginable at the start of the modern anti-slavery movement just a decade ago…
In other words, the petitions you’ve clicked on human trafficking through Activist Faith on Beliefnet are being cited in the nation’s primary report on human trafficking as a new factor that is creating change. Amazing!
It’s easy for us to tell ourselves what we do does not matter, but it does! Your actions make a major difference. You are proof!
To see the latest petitions to fight human trafficking at Change.org, go here.
Or, let us know how you are using new media to make a difference in the world. Look forward to hearing from you!
DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.
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