As 2020 begins, it’s important to reflect on the latest human trafficking statistics, as well as the role of Greenlight Operation and its supporters in addressing the issue locally.
According to the current 2018 statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, cases of national human trafficking jumped 25% from 2017, with Pennsylvania ranking 11th highest in reported cases. Defined as using force, fraud, or coercion to induce someone into commercial sex or labor servitude, they identified over 275 state cases of trafficking, totaling over 1,800 victims since 2012.
Victims continue to be highly vulnerable individuals, such as recent immigrants or individuals with substance and mental health concerns who are isolated, threatened, abused, and often unable to access resources. Important to note amidst these sobering statistics: many reports, tips, and help comes from public officials and community members, which, as the United Nations Global Report on Trafficking Persons notes, could indicate greater capacity to identify trafficking.
This is why Greenlight Operation continues to engage the community, because they can be a strong voice in identifying and helping victims. Here are a few highlights on how we did this in 2019.
We had 35 speaking engagements and hosted a table at 10 events, compared to 14 engagements and one table in 2018.
We were the community partner showcased at the Harrisburg Senators baseball game.
Our annual Breaking Chains event moved outdoors for a day of family fun and artist showcase, raising funds for the Restoration Home and connecting with the local community.
Our training in November equipped more individuals with the knowledge and power to be active in their communities. Our partnership with law enforcement, policy makers, and anti-trafficking groups is also expanding.
We launched an internship program over the summer and continue to grow our team.
GO staff helped support survivors in a landmark human trafficking trial in Lancaster.
Our passionate supporters also helped raise over $30,000 in a dōTERRA’s Healing Hands Foundation match campaign. This is a massive step toward building the restoration home, bringing our year total to over $50,000.
In 2020, we will continue to build this network through trainings for local non-profits and service providers, and through community events to raise awareness and funds for our long-term care Restoration Home for trafficking victims.
If you’d like to connect with us, visit https://www.greenlightoperation.org/volunteer.
If you witness or suspect human trafficking, or are personally being trafficked, call the toll-free, 24-hour National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE).