At Greenlight Operation, we receive numerous questions from individuals interested in the scope of our mission and services. For instance, we are often asked if we help rescue victims, or provide rescue and restoration services for children or male survivors. In short, the answer to those questions is no. But, just as human trafficking is a wide-ranging issue, there is a comprehensive network of anti-human trafficking organizations that work in tandem to fulfill each unique need.
Here is a brief overview of the types of organizations and services.
In some capacity, every organization provides education and awareness, though they may focus on particular issues or types of trafficking and victims. It’s simple: combating trafficking requires the public knowing it exists. Otherwise, people cannot become involved in preventing or ending the issue. Accurate education about human trafficking is vital to combat misinformation, empower learners, and equip community members.
The abolitionist movement grows when awareness spreads. Groups like Central Pennsylvania-based Hope. Inspire. Love. or the Villanova Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation specifically aim to bring awareness and education and highlight solutions, while supporting other anti-human trafficking organizations.
A limited number of groups help rescue victims from human trafficking situations, given the specialized training and often complex operations involved. O.U.R, and International Justice Mission are two examples of groups often partnering with local law enforcement to aid in rescue efforts globally.
But after rescue, where do victims go?
Few job and boarding opportunities exist for victims, and their options often depend upon their age and location. Rapha International has homes, specifically for child victims, in Cambodia, Haiti, and Thailand. O.U.R works with in-country after-care centers to ensure that rescued individuals receive the care they need. A21 has approximately 10 emergency and/or long-term facilities worldwide.
Short-term or emergency care is more widely available. These can be safe houses, rehabilitation centers, or even homeless shelters. All of these are necessary and crucial for immediate help, yet do not provide the long-term physical, emotional, and mental care needed for survivors to remain permanently free.
In Pennsylvania, 14 organizations specifically serve trafficking victims—and just 6 provide housing beyond 30 days (according to the Pa. Office of Victim Services). Pennsylvania would need roughly 30 homes if even 50% of the 540 Pennsylvania victims identified by the National Human Trafficking Hotline received long-term care.
WHAT MAKES GREENLIGHT OPERATION DIFFERENT?
Education and awareness has always been a key component of Greenlight Operation’s strategy. Along with speaking engagements at schools and community groups, we collaborate with other organizations and public providers, such law enforcement and health care professionals, to help them identify trafficking and take the appropriate next steps when they encounter a situation.
Restoration for survivors is also one of our priorities. Currently, there are no long term care homes in Cumberland County for women who have been victims of sex trafficking. We aim to fill that gap by establishing a long-term Restoration Home.
Just as each victim is extremely unique, types of victims are also unique in their trauma and healing needs. It is important to remember that though we may not conduct rescue missions or provide services for every type of victim, we are part of a much bigger picture. It takes a network to take down a network is a phrase we often reference, and it is the backbone for why all types of organizations are necessary to tackle human trafficking.