The Human Trafficking Awareness Council is a nonprofit organization based in New York, NY established to spread awareness in the communities on the prevalent issue of human trafficking. The HTA Council investigates reported crimes of trafficking and assists with survivor recovery efforts. The mission of the Human Trafficking Awareness Council is to prevent and ultimately end forced labor and sexual exploitation of men, women, and children.
Slavery still exists; it is just better hidden today than it was in the past. In fact, there are currently more human slaves in the world than ever before in history – an estimated 27 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking. Oftentimes when Americans hear about this issue, they are unaware that this crime runs rampant in their own country; with over 150,000-300,000 people trafficked annually in the United States. Human trafficking is a crime against humanity that deprives people of their human rights and freedoms; it is a global health risk, and it fuels organized crime. Awareness is the key to pushing human traffickers out of our communities and ultimately ending this crime.
HTA Council is taking the proper steps in this fight for freedom. The organization raises awareness in communities through hosting educational events, film screenings, and speaking engagements in universities and religious establishments. They collaborate with government agencies and other NGOs to establish acceptable preventive measures, identify victims, and expose traffickers and users. With many projects under way in the US, HTA Council is beginning their first international project in Southeast Asia this upcoming winter.
Executive Director Joseph Burlett says, “This is an issue that is unseen until you’re confronted with it and it’s in your face… but until the general public is exposed to the depths and horrors of this crime, significant change cannot occur.” And this type of change is the exact goal HTA Council seeks to achieve—through being persistent, direct, and courageous.