FSC’s Human Trafficking program has been preparing for the World Games coming to Birmingham in July. Estimated to bring in almost a half million visitors, the World Games is an excellent time to inform the community about human trafficking and its impact on Alabama.
FSC, as a core partner of the Alabama Anti-Human Trafficking Alliance, developed a series of outreach materials including billboards, to raise awareness about human trafficking. Created in both English and Spanish, these were strategically placed throughout Birmingham and the surrounding areas, including the airport.
With the theme, “Anyone can be the face of human trafficking,” people are directed to the Alliance’s website to learn more about human trafficking, how to get help, and report tips.
“Sporting events like the World Games don’t cause human trafficking,” said Jennie Tice, FSC’s Human Trafficking Outreach Coordinator. “Human trafficking exists outside these large events every day of the year, in big cities and small alike.”
Tice went on to say “If there are vulnerable people in a community, there is the potential for human traffickers to take advantage of them.”
An increase of people in the area does mean an increased risk of human trafficking as traffickers may use this as an opportunity for exploitation. Labor is needed for the surge in visitor population and often to prepare for events. There is a rise in demand for commercial sex by buyers creating the opportunity for traffickers to make more money. Also, Law Enforcement operations may increase during this time, giving the appearance that there is more human trafficking occurring.
As an Alliance partner, FSC has also participated in a work group with other anti-human trafficking professionals across the state to develop training curriculum and modules that are required for all World Games volunteers. The hope is not only will they use this knowledge at the event, but also take it home to their communities.
FSC’s residential human trafficking program prepared for the potential increase in the identification of victims and those needing shelter services. They continued to collaborate with other human trafficking residential providers and advocates to plan for and address the needs of victims and survivors.