Social justice and human trafficking are intrinsically interconnected.
Social justice aims for the systematic fair treatment of all people. STAC believes that everyone deserves equal social and economic rights, opportunities, and treatment. Traffickers target vulnerable victims with promises of an escape from harsh realities of their current conditions. In almost every instance, human trafficking victims are victims of institutional oppression and systematic racism, classism, sexism, agism, ableism, and heterosexism before they become enslaved by a trafficker. Human trafficking cannot be understood as an individual harm perpetrated by criminals; but instead must be understood within the structural conditions of society that facilitate exploitation.
A social justice perspective is crucial for our work to support survivors of human trafficking and to prevent people of being trafficked.
While our work to coordinate emergency services for people who have just escaped the grasps of a trafficker is vitally important, long-term continued services that support survivors’ ability to break free from generational cycles of poverty and oppression are equally important to ensure that survivors are able to live lives of dignity, free from political, social, and economic inequality.