A Case Study On Sex Trafficking Prevention
January 08, 2021
Women & Girls
Arming Women In The Quest To Prevent Trafficking Part II
THE FORGOTTEN “P”: PREVENTION
Have you heard about the “forgotten P?” Anti-human trafficking (AHT) work is often summarized as the “Three P’s”: Protection, prosecution and prevention. In this article with End Slavery Now, the case is made that prevention is the forgotten “P” in the anti-human trafficking agenda. To shift that narrative, End Slavery Now published the first article (Arming Women in the Quest to Prevent Trafficking). of a two-part case study last year to follow a pilot program on human trafficking prevention. This is article two of that series with a year of reflection and an abundance of lessons learned to share.
Incredible implementing organizations are doing important work to prosecute perpetrators and protect those who have been trafficked. As these efforts gain momentum, many want to expand the agenda to include prevention programming. At the heart of prevention work is believing that human trafficking survivors are powerful people capable of contributing to the fight against slavery. In 2019, a pilot was launched to engage women in this movement.
THE PILOT PROPOSAL
Last year, Street Business School (SBS) and the Jernigan Foundation joined forces to leverage business education as a tool to fight slavery. The goal was to create a pre-emptive solution to target the heart of human trafficking: oppressive poverty, lack of economic opportunity and the psychology of disenfranchised women and children. SBS is an entrepreneurial education organization that has a proven history of tripling women’s income by teaching them how to lift themselves out of poverty through business and confidence education. Since 2016, SBS has franchised this work through 100 nonprofit organizations that pay SBS to learn the program and bring it to their local communities. For the pilot, Jernigan Foundation funded two scholarships to underwrite the cost for SBS to partner with two AHT organizations that sought to incorporate SBS’ program into their existing anti-slavery work in order to enhance their prevention goals.
This support propelled impact for everyone involved. For the Jernigan Foundation, the pilot offered an opportunity to leverage one grant to fund three organizations, SBS and its two AHT partners, with a systems change approach to the issue. For SBS, the pilot funded outreach to AHT organizations and the ability to offer two scholarships to test business education as a prevention strategy. It also allowed SBS to reach an additional 1,000 women and their 5,000 children over time, helping lift themselves and their families into prosperity. And lastly, for two AHT organizations, each was able to incorporate SBS at a reduced fee, add a proven income generating program for their beneficiaries, and reduce vulnerability for those at-risk of being trafficked.
THE RESULTS ARE IN!
It has been a year and the outcomes are incredible.
SBS partnered with Engage Now Africa and Willow International to attend the SBS certification training in November, 2019. Willow International is a Uganda-based NGO focused on the liberation of trafficking victims and restoration of survivors. Engage Now Africa addresses modern day slavery and human trafficking across sub-Saharan Africa by teaching vulnerable communities prevention strategies that will keep individuals safe and families intact.
In February, 2020, Engage Now Africa enrolled an SBS cohort of 29 women from a rural community to train them to become entrepreneurs. Willow International trained two groups of women, comprised of 44 entrepreneurs in Uganda. These two groups with Willow International consisted of different perspectives. One group consisted of survivors and the other comprised of women who had not been trafficked, but were highly vulnerable and lived in the same communities as the survivors. Willow International Founder, Kelsey Morgan, said “This program is exactly what we have been looking for to protect the women and give them the tools to they need to protect themselves.”
Susan, an incredible woman and survivor from the first Willow International-SBS cohort said of her training, “When I enrolled in SBS, my life and that of my children has really changed. SBS triggered something in me that I had lost. My fighting spirit and strength returned and I feel like I started life afresh.”
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS YEAR
For SBS, we have learned a great deal from Willow International and Engage Now Africa. The following key points summarized the most profound lessons learned.
- We used to think of prevention as black and white: Keep people from ever having to endure the trauma and injustice of being enslaved. While that is the north star of prevention work, this community of AHT leaders has also shared a more inclusive idea that preventing the re-trafficking of survivors is powerful work, too. Survivors need an opportunity to earn a living. They have already been hurt and are often ostracized from their home and community as if they chose this life. Survivors can easily be re-trafficked if a safety net of economic opportunity is not there to catch them.
- Prevention is not forgotten at all. Every person involved in this fight is looking for solutions to create systems change. The challenge is to know how and where to do that most affordably and effectively.
- SBS’ partnership with 100 nonprofit organizations in 21 countries overlaps with AHT prevention in many ways. We compared the map of human trafficking hotspots with the map of where SBS is located and see that the work of economically empowering women in areas of high vulnerability coincides with the global movement to fight this injustice. Attempts to address slavery need to consider all of the efforts to bring economic opportunities to hotspot areas and not limit AHT work to AHT-specific organizations. Broadening this scope will embolden the movement to reduce vulnerability and prevent slavery.
Map of trafficking hotspots at top and map of SBS global presence at the bottom.
THE FUTURE IS GETTING BRIGHTER
The SBS and Willow International partnership has proved so successful that both organizations are launching a full-scale prevention program across East Africa together. In October, we received a grant from an anonymous government entity to fund a large, exclusive training for AHT organizations. The training will consist of ten other AHT organizations in East Africa to add SBS to their programs. Together, we are going to help thousands of women, either survivors or those at-risk of being trafficked, gain the financial security and confidence to protect themselves and their children from perpetrators.
Additionally, the Jernigan Foundation was motivated by the outcome of the pilot so it increased its grant this year to fund three more scholarships and help another set of AHT organizations bring prevention to their local communities. Between these two partners, Willows International and Jernigan Foundation, SBS will train another 13 AHT organizations approximately this year alone. Applications are arriving from AHT organizations and SBS will continue this important work despite COVID-19, helping AHT leaders add a proven program to their already invaluable services.
Prevention will not be forgotten as organizations continue to address the root cause of slavery. This pilot has demonstrated that collaboration among nonprofit organizations and empowering women economically is an important piece of the puzzle in our fight to end slavery.
End Slavery Now, March 26, 2019: http://www.endslaverynow.org/blog/articles/sex-trafficking-prevention-the-forgotten-p
 End Slavery Now, August 16, 2019: https://www.endslaverynow.org/blog/articles/arming-women-in-the-quest-to-prevent-trafficking
 Designed by Max Fisher, Published by Washington Post, 2017