Faida is a young woman from Eastern Europe who managed to find a way to escape human traffickers in Amsterdam. Her story begins like that of many women who have been trafficked into the Netherlands: she met a young man who “romanticized the excitement of Amsterdam, tempted her with daydreams of city living and wealth, and even set up a job for her.” When Faida arrived in Amsterdam, she was met with the harsh reality that this young man had manipulated her. Eventually, Faida found a way to escape the people who held her captive. Even though she had the bruises, scars, and stories to prove she had been abused, the Netherland courts did not believe Faida could provide enough evidence to prove that she had been trafficked. She was dismissed from the courts and sent away with no money, no home, and no job. Luckily, Faida met a woman who saw that she needed support and helped her connect with an organization called Not For Sale. The organization helps men and women who have been trafficked get back on their feet.
According to Not For Sale’s website, “After being rejected by the state, many trafficked men and women re-enter the sex trade or other forms of exploitation out of necessity. [Not For Sale] works to give them alternate options and skills needed to succeed in a world free from slavery.”
So far, the organization has four active offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands, San Francisco, California, Timisoara, Romania, and Chiang Rai. In order to disrupt human trafficking in these areas, Not For Sale uses a three-step process – Social Intervention, Research and Development, and Scalable Ventures.
In the first step, Not For Sale “partners with local experts, community leaders, and business people to understand the root causes of slavery in that region. [It also] provides food, shelter, education, and healthcare to people who have been affected by modern slavery.”
In step two, the organization tries to work out why the people in a particular region are so susceptible to slavery. Once it finds a source, it works to find a way to feed that economy in order to stop human trafficking before it begins. In the final step, Not For Sale partners with entrepreneurs in the hopes that their businesses “will feed revenue back into the project, so that they can provide [these women and men] with jobs and a stable income.” The organization also hopes that these businesses will contribute to and fund more social interventions.
In the United States, the organization uses a program called REINVENT, which is designed to “empower survivors of human trafficking by creating dignified and sustainable opportunities for work. The program also provides survivors and at risk women with job-readiness training. Afterwards, Not For Sale works to identify long-term employment opportunities for graduates of the program.”
Not For Sale helped Faida enroll in culinary school and bridge the language barrier. Faida is a survivor of human trafficking who is now employed and has been able to start reclaiming her life. The organization hopes the story of Faida and others like her will cause you to ask yourself the question: “How do we stop [human trafficking] before it happens?”
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