As a part of Operation Backpack, a campaign to raise awareness and gather school supplies for survivors in need, O.U.R. wanted to bring awareness to what schools can do to prevent and help students healing from human trafficking.
There are three main tiers that schools can utilize to help assist their students on their healing journey, as outlined in this report.
Policy: Develop policies for recognizing the signs of human trafficking and putting protocols in place to report said scenarios. Also, create an atmosphere of peer-reporting and self-reporting approaches to create a culture of safety and awareness.
Students: Provide students with human trafficking education and prevention materials, relationship education, internet safety, after-school programs, and mentorship opportunities.
Staff: Have all staff enroll in human trafficking training to notice the signs and indicators that may be present in students throughout the school.
Equip the staff with a protocol to potentially identify students entrapped in human trafficking and lean on the help of law enforcement and social service specialists to take the right form of action to rescue the student.
Refer survivors to specialized aftercare therapy and develop an ongoing healing plan to help support the survivor in all areas of life.
Here is a sample protocol from the Department of Education’s report to give insight into what a school and it’s employees can do if they suspect a child is being trafficked.
We hope this information provides insight into what your child’s school could be doing to help prevent human trafficking and exploitation.