Human trafficking is occurring in the US. Here’s what some fearless crusaders are doing to put a stop to it

Alison Clary
3 min readOct 1, 2018


Whether you are travelling for work or pleasure, it’s likely you characterize airports as a means to transport you to where you need to go. Sure, there are the occasional drawbacks, such as flight delays, excess baggage fees, or long security lines — but at the end of the day, you know where you’re headed, and odds are you’ll arrive safely. Sadly, victims of human trafficking have a tragically different viewpoint; For them, airports and other major transportation hubs mean departing to a foreign destination where the future is unknown and often unsafe.

Many people consider human trafficking a solely overseas issue, but the reality is modern human slavery is occurring on US soil every day. In response to this widespread epidemic that hits close to every individual’s home, a global team of freedom fighters, known as A21, has united to put an end to human trafficking once and for all.

Because human trafficking is such a discretely performed trade, A21 focuses significant effort on public awareness. One of their recent initiatives, the Can You See Me campaign, is derived from a collaboration between law enforcement, government agencies, and businesses. Can You See Me is aimed at educating the general public on how to spot the signs of human trafficking and how best to report suspected cases to the proper authorities.

If you’ve recently passed through major transportation hubs, such as Dulles International Airport or Union Station, you may have observed one of the striking Can You See Me banners. These banners are hard to ignore as they put faces to human trafficking victims and deliver a simple, yet powerful message: Modern slavery exists. If you suspect it, report it.

Can You See Me Banner, Dulles International Airport

A21’s work spreads far beyond public awareness. Through offices across the globe, the A21 team is on the ground fighting modern day slavery and supporting victims firsthand on a daily basis. Plus, A21 is working with local and international legislators to co-sponsor anti-trafficking bills.

You may feel that as a single individual, there’s not much you can do to help battle such a large-scale issue. In reality, playing even just a small role in the local fight to end human trafficking has the potential for global impact. If you aren’t sure how to help, you can start by becoming informed through watching the Can You See Me PSA videos.

Secondly, you can participate in the annual Walk for Freedom on October 20th, 2018 at any one of the 400 global walk locations. You’ll join other crusaders against human trafficking as they walk in single file lines, while uniformly wearing black shirts and yellow bandanas over their mouths. Each step taken will support A21’s mission to bring awareness to and stop human trafficking.

Remember, slavery still exists, and it’s not a bipartisan issue, but rather a humanitarian injustice. Do your part to help end it!

Walk for Freedom DC 2017