THREE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS HAVE JOINED TOGETHER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
The joint mission is to reduce the vulnerability of children by identifying and preventing human trafficking using a standardized trauma-informed education curriculum and systematic delivery methodology.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. With between 100,000 and 300,0000 children vulnerable to human trafficking nationwide, education and prevention efforts are quickly becoming an imperative for local governments and school districts.
Therefore, the coalition has outlined several specific objectives necessary to achieve its mission:
- Identification – Ensure all stakeholders can effectively identify—and communicate the identification of—potential human trafficking victims in schools, including ensuring the appropriate communication with and referral to necessary agencies
- Education – Create and introduce multi-grade level curricula to be used in all elementary, middle and high school classrooms, as well as with county and school leadership, to help teachers and students understand the dangers and methods of human traffickers
- Implementation – Ensure processes are in place to effectively identify at-risk students to prevent exploitation
- Assessment – Aggregate and report the classroom impact of the curricula via student survey results
PROTECT PROGRAM OVERVIEW
PROTECT is a human trafficking prevention education program that was developed in 2015 through a coalition of three nonprofits (3Strands Global Foundation, Love Never Fails, and Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives), in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California and California Department of Education.
Through this program, teachers and students are learning about red flags, protocols, and ways to prevent exploitation through an online curriculum that provides all classroom materials necessary.
Agreed-upon protocols and procedures are the first step to ensuring positive outcomes for those who are identified as human trafficking victims. In the event a student self-identifies, or a teacher identifies a potential human trafficking case, protocols and procedures will help maintain the integrity of the organizational responses to that situation. These protocols should cover and inform everyone from the first responder to the last service provider.
The dissemination and understanding of response protocols and procedures is the second step. Stakeholders within the continuum of identification and victim support must know their individual responsibilities, as well as the roles of others within the continuum. Professional training should include educators and all personnel at the local, county and state levels who work directly or peripherally with minor or adult victims of human trafficking.
The PROTECT lesson plans are made available through an online learning management system and are designed to be delivered sequentially to students in elementary, middle, and high school. The curriculum will provide a comprehensive understanding of the dangers, signs and historical roots of human trafficking. The goals are to empower students with a better understanding of individual value, identify victims at the earliest possible stage, and respond appropriately with the services and support victims and those at-risk.
The PROTECT team has partnered with third-party researchers that are analyzing data about the impact of human trafficking prevention education that has never been tracked before. The PROTECT coalition spent months working with a collective research team to develop a logic model for PROTECT, which informed the pre- and post-test survey questions that were developed for the training modules and each lesson.
Through quantitative and qualitative research methods, the researchers will aggregate and report the classroom impact of the curricula and training modules. We believe PROTECT will have lasting impact and change, and that tracking its effectiveness through the administration and evaluation of the Qualitrics student surveys will only enhance its impact.