A Brief History of the Anti-Human Trafficking Movement

In order to set the stage for the following lessons, we are beginning with the roots of the anti-trafficking movement. Here, we are discussing the importance of language, abolitionism and the rise of the ‘rescue mentality’, and research for current trends in the movement.

Watch the video below and scroll through the slides for added context.

The PDF below is The Ladder of Participation, which was originally created in 1969 by Sherry Arnstein. This model uses the structure of a ladder to demonstrate the different levels of agency, control, and power citizens have. As you move up the rungs of the ladder, the more agency, control, and power you have.

Give this document a thorough read to learn about each level on the ladder and to see an adapted version of the model applied to anti-trafficking organizations.

Then, take a few minutes to think about the reflection question at the end. Either write down your answer, or take some time to reflect.

Click here to reference the Cultural Taxation website mentioned in this lesson.

About the Presenters:

Emily Robinson is the Policy Coordinator and creator of the Avery Seal Evaluation Process with the Avery Seal for Research and Services.  They have received three years of training in master’s level counseling psychology coursework and as a lived experience expert has provided consultations to organizations such as Polaris, Dressember, Roller Skate to Liberate and Survivor Alliance. With over 10 years of experience in the Anti-Human Trafficking Movement, they have performed research, program evaluation, and participated in advisory boards and panels. As a lived experience expert in familial, cult, labor trafficking and the sex industry they offer a unique perspective on the multilayered experiences of exploitation, complex PTSD, and evaluation. Their passion is focused on research and program evaluation to help reduce client harm and increase the trauma informed health and growth of organizations. 

As a first-generation student and an activist for sexually exploited people, Bianca looks forward to changing practices and policies that impact the global majority. Bianca is currently in sociology MA program, and they will graduate in spring of May 2023 with a certificate in college teaching at UNCO. They enjoy writing, journaling and painting. Most of their research focuses on creating accessible education, art activism, and the impact of sexual exploitation through frameworks like intersectionality, critical race theory, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. They believe these frameworks are needed in the anti-trafficking field to inform change and to allow the global majority to thrive. Bianca is a McNair alumni and Stryker alumni, and through their experience in these programs they have learned how to collaborate with others with patience, kindness, and vulnerability.  

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