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Recognizing Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Illinois is a point of origin, transit and destination for many human trafficking victims. It’s also a point of safety.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. To spotlight this important issue, we shared events, resources, and information about our Legal Aid Society’s work in the fight against human trafficking.

  • We visited the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force’s pop-up art event, “Surviving Human Trafficking,” with Micaela Garrido, Community Training Specialist with our Legal Aid Society. Click here to see photos, as well as Mica’s answer to the central question posed by the exhibit: “What does human trafficking mean to you?”
  • Mica presented several trainings on human trafficking and domestic violence.
    • See her (above) in action at the Chicago Women’s History Center, during a screening and panel discussion for the documentary “Anita: Speaking Truth to Power.”
    • Click here to learn more about her presentation on Human Trafficking and Trauma-Informed Care with Heartland Alliance at the Chicago Children’s Center for Behavioral Health.
  • We compiled a Twitter list of people and organizations working to end human trafficking, sharing information and resources, and keeping us informed about how we can help
  • We shared resources and outreach materials from our Legal Aid Society’s Human Trafficking Initiative
  • We sent Public Service Announcements to media in fifteen languages, including Lithuanian and Polish

The fight against human trafficking does not end here. Below you’ll find ways you can stay engaged throughout the year in helping those affected by human trafficking.

How You Can Help

  • Donate to Metropolitan’s Legal Aid Society: select Legal Aid Society under the designation drop-down
  • Volunteer to help our Human Trafficking Initiative staff translate documents: email trafficking@metrofamily.org for details
  • Educate yourself with resources from our Human Trafficking Initiative
  • Spread the word! Our resources page includes printable brochures and outreach cards you can distribute
  • If you think you know someone who may be trafficked or have questions, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888

“When I think of human trafficking, I think of the faces and the voices of those I know. I think of what it would mean for them to know that they were the last generation to face exploitation; to know that we have heard their voice and that we collectively responded to their cry for justice. I hope we will all see that while change is hard, we recognize our communities and our economy will be stronger if we take the steps necessary and end human trafficking and exploitation permanently.”

– Catherine Longkumer, Project Manager of Metropolitan’s Legal Aid Society Human Trafficking Initiative