Human sex trafficking is one of our world’s biggest issues.
The unfortunate fact is that the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world.
Sex trafficking is, by nature, an underground issue, which means that accurate statistics are difficult to come by. If anything, the numbers reflecting sex trafficking’s pervasiveness are likely higher than reports indicate. But regardless of the exact numbers, it’s important to remember that one person trafficked is one too many.
The scary part is that this issue is so pervasive despite the fact that international law and the laws of 134 countries criminalize sex trafficking. The vast majority of human trafficking victims come from vulnerable populations, and of the approximately 24.9 million victims of forced labor, an estimated 4.8 million—about 19%—are trafficked for sex. Even more disturbingly, more than 1 in 5 sex trafficking victims—an estimated 21%—are children.
Related: How Porn Can Fuel Sex Trafficking
According to one report, of the domestic minor trafficking victims who had been forced into porn production, the average age they began being filmed was 12.8 years old. Sex trafficking often involves psychological manipulation and often exploits the most vulnerable populations. In fact, according to a report of prosecuted sex trafficking cases in the U.S., 59% of coercive tactics used by traffickers were non-physical, compared to 41% of tactics involving physical coercion.
Many organizations have joined the fight against this massive problem in our society, and one of America’s favorite burger joints is one of them.
Slave 2 Nothing anti-trafficking campaign
Throughout the month of January—which is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month—In-N-Out Burger has been encouraging customers to donate to their nonprofit organization Slave 2 Nothing and help fight sexual exploitation.
According to the organization’s website:
“During January, in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, In-N-Out Burger® will match your donation 3-to-1 up to $250,000. Across all 50 states, victims of human trafficking silently cry for help. You can help us fight this injustice and bring hope to thousands in our very own communities. Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery, involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation through forced labor or commercial sex acts.”
Then, they list some heartbreaking sex trafficking stats. Check it out:
You can read more about In-N-Out’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit by clicking here. We took this info from their site during a previous January #HumanTraffickingAwareness campaign:
“The Slave2Nothing Foundation’s mission is to free people from being enslaved to any person or substance. We will fulfill our mission to combat human trafficking by:
- creating awareness, prevention, protection, and partnerships
- by assisting survivors by encouraging and supporting effective programs and solutions.
In addition, we will assist individuals and their families in gaining freedom and healing from substance abuse and its effects through supporting programs that thrive in promotion, awareness, and healing from the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. We believe that together, we can help improve the lives of the thousands of people who become enslaved in human trafficking and/or substance abuse every year…
Slave 2 Nothing is supported primarily through donor contributions and internal fundraising activities sponsored by In-N-Out Burger. In addition, In-N-Out Burger pays all costs associated with Slave 2 Nothing, so that every penny raised goes directly to educating and eliminating human trafficking and supporting substance abuse treatment and prevention services.”
The company has been carrying out its promise by placing the cause front and center in its restaurants. When you order inside an In-N-Out restaurant, the following sign is displayed right in the middle of the menu, and off to the side of the line at the registers:
The sign reads, “Help a human trafficking victim get a piece of their life back.” It then encourages customers to donate at the register and says that In-N-Out has pledged to match all donations 3-to-1 throughout January up to $250,000.
There were also cash collection tins right at the register, and a few other posters up in the restaurant. How cool is that?
All donations at In-N-Out are then collected by Slave 2 Nothing, In-N-Out’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping those caught up in slavery, and then dispersed in four ways:
Who will be the next to step up?
It is incredible to see well-recognized businesses like In-N-Out Burger joining in on this important cause and lending their resources and platform to the fight.
If more companies placed an emphasis on making an impact on this issue that affects millions of people globally every day, we would be much closer to ending sexual exploitation in our society. And that’s something everyone can get on board with.