The United Way Center on Human Trafficking & Slavery was founded in 2015 to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery. We are working to create effective community-based solutions, galvanize collaboration across sectors, and build public and political will to support, fund and scale strategies across the world that find, stop and prevent human trafficking.
Since then, we’ve sponsored two business leader summits in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., supported policy advocacy to almost double anti-trafficking funding nationwide and helped pass key legislation to support victims. A few years ago, we launched a UPS-funded community training pilot in Milwaukee, Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco and San Jose. Through the pilot, more than 400 community leaders and United Way partners learned how to spot and respond to signs of human trafficking. This free training is now virtual, and is being shared across the United Way network. This is part of our work to engage more people in more communities in the fight against human trafficking.
The United Way Approach
United Way's credo is to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. The Center on Human Trafficking & Slavery does this by strengthening and expanding programs and services that support and protect our most vulnerable populations, who are often the ones victimzed by traffickers. Across our programmatic, advocacy, convening and training work, the Center's approach includes:
- Cross-Sector Collaboration – Tackling a complex, global problem like human trafficking requires people and organizations to come together across sectors, in a structured way, to drive real social change. None of us can do it alone.
- Public and Political Will – More people know about human trafficking these days, but too few understand its scope. With the help of people like you, we can elevate the issue effectively. As the summer of 2020 has shown, people speaking out can force change. With enough public will, policymakers will act.
- Solutions at Scale – There are many promising practices in isolated locations and sectors, yet our response is grossly under-resourced to meet the magnitude of the problem. We need to develop community-based solutions to scale all aspects of our response to human trafficking -- from increasing victim identification to comprehensive services for survivors, working with law enforcement, examining supply chains and enacting prevention strategies.
United Way is uniquely positioned to bring together leading organizations working in anti-trafficking, to drive a more powerful, unified strategy for combating trafficking globally. Leveraging a network of nearly 1,800 United Ways in 40+ countries, United Way can help identify and support what’s most needed, while mobilizing individuals, businesses, governments and nonprofit organizations around effective solutions.
Together, we are powerful in the fight against human trafficking. We are the eyes and ears of our communities. We are the ones to break this cycle, and create a world where every life is valued.