Home > TalkTraffic > #TalkTraffic: Human Rights Approach

#TalkTraffic: Human Rights Approach

This is the third video in our 10-part #TalkTraffic video series. See Part 1 | Part 2

Responses to trafficking involve important human rights issues. Solutions to trafficking that are rooted in human rights respect the dignity and self-determination of the person who may be trafficked. Learn more about what it means to approach trafficking through this lens.

What You Need To Know

It’s absolutely crucial to respond to trafficking using a human rights approach. This means:

  • Respecting the dignity, self-determination, and voice of the person who may be a victim or survivor.
  • Creating an environment where the person at risk is able to make his or her own decisions about the steps he or she wants to take in addressing the situation.
  • Not making assumptions about whether a situation actually involves coercion and trafficking, but instead asking a person you think may be trafficked what kind of help he or she wants and needs.

At times, people feel a strong emotional response when they hear about trafficking, and they want to rush in and try to “rescue” the person they think may be a victim.

  • The problem with this “rescuer” mentality is it takes the focus away from the survivor and puts it on the so-called “rescuer” and his or her point of view.
  • This has a negative consequence: It sidelines the voices of survivors and their ability to make their own decisions and reclaim their own voice, dignity, and ability to move forward in life.
  • If you see a situation that might involve trafficking, call a qualified and trusted organization that works with trafficking survivors and they can help foster a human rights approach and expertly navigate the possibilities for helping a person at risk.

Arrest is never an appropriate way to try to help someone who may be a trafficking survivor.

  • Arresting people who may be trafficked only drives them further into vulnerable situations.
  • Arrests create trauma, chaos, and unintended consequences in a person’s life (for example, affecting their family, children, and co-workers.)
  • Arrest also adds an additional layer of complex legal consequences into that person’s already complicated and difficult situation.

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Production Credits — Producers: Juhu Thukral and Jeffrey Yamaguchi. Video Production/Filming/Editing: Jordan Timpy and Cassie Timpy of Agape Visuals (Read their write-up about working on this project). Music: Broke For Free.

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