In January, One More Child partnered with the Central Florida Human Trafficking Task Force to co-host three Red Sand Projects, raising awareness of an issue that happens all around us but is rarely visible: human trafficking.
Here’s why our partnership with the Red Sand Project and Central Florida Human Trafficking Task Force was so powerful:
According to the International Chiefs of Police, “Awareness and understanding remain two of the most common challenges law enforcement face in responding to human trafficking.”
The Red Sand Project events are some of the most visible pushes One More Child supports all year to increase community awareness. Bags of brightly colored red sand were poured into sidewalk cracks, making striking, highly visible representations of human trafficking and generating important conversations about the issue.
Human trafficking impacts both individuals and families in all 50 states and more than 120 countries, leaving entire communities to live with the after-effects for generations.
These Red Sand Project events were both interactive and family-friendly, and they took place in three counties in Central Florida.
The ones who fall through the cracks are disproportionally vulnerable people. One in seven are runaways. Twenty-five percent are kidnapped or sold as children. Many are lured online with false promises to be taken care of and loved.
At a Red Sand Project event, each grain of red sand represents an individual who has fallen through the cracks of our societal, economical, and political systems.
Because more than 40 million people are affected globally, it is important that government, legal, and health professionals also participate.
Experts from all areas of the issue were present at the Red Sand Project events including representatives of government from mayors, county police chiefs, and state attorneys to key organizational leaders from United Abolitionists, Paving the Way, and, of course, One More Child.
State Representatives Anne V. Eskamani and David Smith and Congressman Corey Mills also participated.
Central Florida Human Trafficking Task Force’s Red Sand Projects communicate a sense of ownership and empowerment for all those who attended to know the signs of human trafficking and to take action to report suspicious activity immediately.
You don’t have to be an expert to spread awareness. Everyone is a mandatory reporter in the state of Fla. Suspicion is all that is required to call in a report to the Florida Abuse Hotline (1-800-96-ABUSE) to potentially save someone’s life.
But even you can go one step further to raise awareness. One More Child offers Anti-Trafficking Education Events that are hosted in your own church. Events include an educational video, worksheets, discussion guides, and ideas for how your church and community can partner with One More Child to fight trafficking in the future.
The exploitation of vulnerable men, women, and children does not end with the month of January. Consider joining One More Child in raising awareness and taking next steps to raise awareness of human trafficking in your community today.