One of the best vehicles for change is through media coverage of human trafficking.
Does your paper run stories about human trafficking or commercial sex? Are they writing about the issue but describing it incorrectly? Do you know about legislation or events regarding human trafficking? The “Letters to the Editor” section of almost every paper is the most read section of almost any newspaper, providing an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking and even help pass legislation. If you have a few minutes to give to this issue, view our online toolkit for tips on how to write a successful letter to the editor to spotlight human trafficking.
- LTEs can be on almost anything. Your goal is to raise awareness about human trafficking, and bring it out of the shadows! You can do this in a number of ways. Just a few suggestions include:
- Thanking law enforcement for going after traffickers;
- Urging courts or judges to give strict sentences;
- Informing the public about pending human trafficking bills at the state or federal level;
- Correcting stories that use the phrase “child prostitute” instead of “human trafficking victim”;
- Highlight the availability of resources at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Polaris Project, and the NHTRC hotline number (1 – 888-3737-888) and the list goes on!
Here are some additional guidelines to be aware of:
- Your letter should be less than 200 words, write clearly and concisely. (Check with your newspaper to be sure of the word limit, some are as few as 120).
- Be sure to include the date and title of the article you are writing about, in the first sentence.
- Thank the editor of the newspaper for covering the subject matter.If human trafficking is not mentioned, thank for coverage of the story, but highlight that their story may in fact be a situation of human trafficking instead of just simply prostitution, etc. (Click here for more information about potential indicators of human trafficking)
- Sign your name, phone number, and address (if required).
If the paper is going to run your letter, they will usually call you to confirm that you wrote it, then look for your letter in the paper!
Sample Letter to Editor:
Dear [Ms./Mr. Editor],
Thank you for covering the story and bringing light to this unfortunate situation. Although you did not mention human trafficking, also commonly referred to modern-day slavery, this particular situation is human trafficking. Under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (2000), human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to induce/compel/subject an individual to provide labor, services, or commercial sex against their will. Any minor under the age of 18 involved in commercial sex acts is automatically deemed a victim of human trafficking.
To learn more about trafficking you can always get more information about the issue please visit www.PolarisProject.org or www.TraffickingResourceCenter.org.
123 Main St., City, State,