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National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is January 11th, 2024

Jan 11, 2024 11:39AM ● By Kelsey Swire

CBS Cares about SWLA Abolitionists

If you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking, please call the human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “info” or “help” to 233733.

Kelsey Swire sits down with Rusty Havens of SWLA Abolitionists to discuss human trafficking in our area. Their team connects people to valuable resources, as well as trains abolitionists in the SWLA community to spot victims of trafficking. Learn the facts and how you can become a part of the solution, on their website.


Here's an excerpt from

There are approximately 50 million people today stuck in trafficking. (Global Slavery Index)

There are over 403,000 in the United States. (Global Slavery Index)

These facts, along with others, provide inspiration for SWLA Abolitionists to keep fighting to put an end to modern slavery. As members of our community, we work hard to combat human trafficking on every level. More specifically through:

  • Awareness: Speakers from our group set up talks with local churches, schools, law students, hotel managers, social workers, organizations, law enforcement, teachers and anyone else interested to educate our community about the realities of modern slavery. This helps the public to become knowledgeable so they can look for signs and act on behalf of slavery victims. We want to expand and have more people do this. Contact us, if you're interested.
  • Prevention: Our teams connect people to valuable resources and train abolitionists in the southwest Louisiana community to enable them to spot victims of trafficking. We educate students, adults and everyday people and share our resources with similar organizations in order to prevent the spread of modern-day slavery.
  • Rescue/Provide A Pathway: We actively work to rescue those currently trapped in human trafficking situations. Group members help to monitor websites and hotspots for known trafficking and pass along any acquired tips to local and national law enforcement. We also work with local organizations and ministries that help the most vulnerable in our society.
  • Restoration: Our passionate members do not stop with awareness. We help those who have experienced human trafficking firsthand. We connect survivors to social services and work to provide support opportunities and connections. 

"We found out that slavery was not just in our history books, but that it was still around and bigger than ever before. That shocked us, broke our hearts and urged us to help end it. Right now, there are roughly 45 million people stuck in modern-day slavery/human trafficking. These people are bought and sold like cattle, but they are treated much worse than any animal.

It's not just happening in India or Asia either. An estimated 400,000 are in the United States. Children are being sold online and on our street corners for rape. Adults are being forced to work in our agriculture fields under violence, sexual abuse and are sometimes chained.

We refuse to let things stay this way. We have seen the results of good people standing up. We know that we can end it. In fact, if we could get just 10% of Americans to care and really get active in the fight against slavery, every single human trafficking victim would have an advocate fighting for them. That, my friends, would change things."


According to

The entire month of January has already been recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, this day (January 11) is specifically dedicated to awareness and prevention of the illegal practice. This holiday is also separate from the World Day Against Trafficking Persons, as established by the United Nations.

Here's an excerpt from their site:


Human trafficking, according to Unitas, is the exploitation of another person for labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sexual activity by force, fraud, or coercion. It is also the act of enslaving or exploiting unwilling other people. Unfortunately, slavery in some form has existed for hundreds of years – and persistently exists today, though many are unaware of this fact.

Most are familiar with the slave trade of the 1400s and beyond. Instituted by Europeans, the slave trade captured and held in bondage millions of Africans from across the continent, eventually selling them for labor or sexual exploitation. This practice flourished in countries like Spain, the growing United States, Holland, France, Sweden, and Denmark for centuries.

It was not until the late 1700s and 1800s that governments began to declare the Transatlantic slave trade illegal, with Great Britain setting the example in 1807 and the United States following in 1820 – the slave trade became a crime punishable by death, but many years passed before more widespread freedom was achieved. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 largely put an end to slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment of 1866 abolished it.

It was after the recognition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade as immoral that governments began to discuss “white slavery,” the term used at the time for sexual human trafficking. 1904 saw the passage of the International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic, written into law by European monarchs, and 12 countries signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic. The League of Nations soon changed the name from “white slavery” to “traffic in women and children.”

The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries saw gains for the movement against human trafficking. In 2000, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act addressed modern-day slavery, becoming the first federal law to do so. The American charity group Free The Slaves, part of Anti-Slavery International, was also formed. In 2007, the United States Senate ratified the resolution establishing January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. In 2010, President Obama dedicated the entire month of January to awareness and prevention of human trafficking. Today, there are over 50 established organizations that globally combat this illegal practice, and more awareness has been raised than ever before.