In Honor of Human Trafficking Prevention Month

As we kick off a new year, we want to be vocal about causes that matter deeply to us here at Redstory. In January, we want to shine a light on Human Trafficking Prevention Month — especially today, on Human Trafficking Awareness Day. According to the State Department here in the US, “Human trafficking… includes both forced labor and sex trafficking. It not only represents a threat to international peace and security but also undermines the rule of law, robs millions of their dignity and freedom, enriches transnational criminals and terrorists, and threatens public safety and national security everywhere.”1

Our company’s motto is to “create what matters.” This extends far beyond human trafficking awareness in marketing and events — we want to see humanity thrive in every way. We are passionate about seeing human trafficking come to an end, both here and abroad, and we want to do our part to achieve that goal. 

Key Human Trafficking Facts and Statistics

While human trafficking may seem like a faraway issue, chances are it strikes much closer to home than most of us realize. An estimated 50 million people are in slavery today around the globe. To put that into perspective, that equates to about 15% of the population of the United States. With numbers so astronomical, this problem is not far away from any of us — which means we can all do something to help. 

Slavery has been found in every country in the world. This is because human trafficking generates profit — 150 billion dollars a year, in fact. There are several ways human trafficking shows up in our world today.  

Labor trafficking

Around the world, people are deceived or forced into often difficult work while being underpaid, or not paid at all, for that work. IJM reports that those who have been trafficked into forced labor “are often denied life necessities like adequate food or sleep. They are even prevented from leaving for school or urgent medical care.”

Sex trafficking

This occurs when someone sexually exploits another person for profit. Two-thirds of all trafficking profit comes from this type of commercial sexual exploitation, which largely targets women and children and subjects them to constant abuse and violence. 

Online exploitation of children

This crime is much more than a simple exchange of images. Sex crimes against children are shared via photos, videos, or audience-directed live streams for profit. This happens around the world, and we must work together to put an end to it. 

Forced Scamming

Workers are trafficked to compounds, where they are forced to participate in online scams under unfit working conditions. According to IJM, shifts can last for 20 hours a day, 6 days per week. Those who do not bring in enough profit are abused and denied food or medical care. 

The Importance of Awareness

Learning about these situations is difficult. However, we must be willing to educate ourselves so that we can bring change to our own communities, the United States, and the world. The US State Department emphasizes that traffickers can be strangers — but they can also be community members, friends, or family members. We also must overcome the stereotype that trafficking only happens to foreign-born people or those living in poverty. Human trafficking occurs in all demographics, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic group.

When we break our own misconceptions, we’re able to see human trafficking clearly. And when we become aware of the realities of trafficking, we can begin to eliminate it. This happens in two ways: educating ourselves and partnering with organizations that are already doing important work. 

In the United States, an initiative called Blue Campaign helps Americans learn how to identify human trafficking, protect themselves from it, and help others. They offer helpful tools for identifying potential trafficking victims and provide the next steps for you if you spot a possibly dangerous situation. 

Partners in Ending Human Trafficking

If you want to expand your knowledge and participate in ending human trafficking, we recommend learning from and getting involved with these trusted partners. Each of these organizations specializes in ending human trafficking, locally or globally. They are excellent resources for all of us! 

International Justice Mission (IJM)

IJM knows that poverty creates vulnerabilities that can lead to an increase in human trafficking. They are working to build a world that provides safety and justice for all by strengthening local and international justice systems, rescuing and restoring trafficked people, bringing criminals to justice, and advocating for better protection and prevention. 

Redstory’s relationship with IJM has grown over the years, as we’ve built a foundation of trust and worked together on several projects and initiatives, from Runway for Justice and IJM X Broadway to our Cornerstone project. This mutual trust is a direct result of mutual buy-in: our team at Redstory is enthusiastic about IJM’s mission to protect people in poverty from violence, and IJM trusts our ability to convert prospects into donors through excellent design and storytelling.

To learn more or get involved with IJM, click here

Bay Area Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (BAATC)

The mission of BAATC is to fight human trafficking in the Bay Area and beyond. To do this, they’re committed to helping Americans understand that human trafficking exists in the local communities where we all work and live. It’s found frequently in local businesses, airports, apartments, and hotels. 

BAATC has identified a three-part cycle in human trafficking: move, work, and sleep. By targeting these three areas, we can all work to find and stop trafficking in its tracks. Traffickers keep their victims on the move, which means they’re often found in airports and other modes of public transportation. They also must find places for them to work, which often means illicit activity in the back or basement of legitimate businesses. Finally, they have to find a place for their victims to sleep, often forcing large numbers of people to stay in one apartment, hotel room, or rental. By educating the general public about the “move, work, sleep” cycle and offering specific training to frontline industry workers to spot trafficking victims where they are forced to work, move, and sleep, they can halt the cycle and rescue countless people. 

To learn more about BAATC and how you can get involved, click here


For more than 15 years, A21 has been dedicated to ending modern-day slavery around the world. They want to end the abuse of children, women, and men for their bodies and labor — not only by rescuing individuals who have been trafficked but by permanently ending the cycles that allow trafficking to continue. 

A21 takes a three-pronged approach to ending slavery: reach, rescue, and restore. The “Reach” arm focuses on education and awareness for the general public. They offer video sessions, play-based sessions for children, presentations, curriculums, and an annual walk — all designed to educate people about the importance of fighting human trafficking. The “Rescue” arm includes a 24/7 reporting hotline, advocacy centers, and legal aid for trafficking victims. The “Restore” arm seeks to empower survivors by providing aftercare, safe housing, relocation services, and the resources and education they need to live independently. 

To learn more about A21 and get involved, click here

At Redstory, we know our fight against trafficking isn’t over, but we’re committed to continuing to help people around the world find freedom. We hope you’ll join us in that mission.