Not For Sale: Using Education & Job Training As Tools to End Human Trafficking

Through empowerment and education, the organization Not For Sale works to end human trafficking. Not For Sale is already active in several countries and wants to eventually see the end of modern-day slavery.

not for sale

By Jessica Lyons

Education has long been seen as a way to improve one's life circumstances, particularly if it can help lead to better employment opportunities. Among its initiatives, Not For Sale offers job training to human trafficking survivors to try to improve their futures. Not For Sale Director of Marketing and Communications Jessica Henry recently told more about the organization's work and how it's trying to stop human trafficking all over the globe. When was Not For Sale created, and how did the organization come about?

Jessica Henry: Not For Sale was created in 2007. The organization began when president and founder David Batstone discovered that one of his favorite Indian restaurants had been trafficking women from India to wash dishes, cook meals and perform other tasks. One of the women was killed in a gas leak, uncovering the restaurant's trafficking business. And so a passion started in him to travel the world and find the root causes of human trafficking to end modern-day slavery once and for all. What is the mission of Not for Sale?

JH: Not For Sale creates tools that engage business, government and grassroots organizations in order to incubate and grow social enterprises that benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities. How do you fulfill that mission?

JH: Not For Sale aims to stop trafficking by going 'upstream' in poor and marginalized communities to address the root of slavery, economic vulnerability. We initiate cross-sector collaborations that intentionally empower families through education and dignified employment. Can you talk specifically about your education programs?

JH: Stateside, Not For Sale has a six-month fellowship program that engages individuals who wish to play a part in changing history and ending slavery. Our fellows are expected to take initiative on assigned projects, pioneer new programs, develop current programs and facilitate the growth of key NFS programs. Internally, many of our development projects provide educational services, including vocational and rehabilitation training, for survivors of trafficking and those who would otherwise be vulnerable.

Not For Sale believes that the best way to break the cycle of exploitation and empower vulnerable communities is for those communities to have dignified employment. For this reason, Not For Sale seeks to create new futures for survivors of human trafficking through safety and stability, life skills and job training, and dignified work and sustainable futures. What has been Not For Sale's proudest accomplishment so far?

JH: We are most proud of our impact on the ground. Last year, we expanded our international projects and staff to six high-trafficked countries. Read our 2011 Impact Report here. What are Not For Sale's future goals?

JH: Our ultimate goal is to empower marginalized communities to seek their own dignified employment and break the cycle of exploitation. We seek to end modern-day slavery in our lifetime. How can our readers, and particularly students, get involved and help Not For Sale?

JH: Students can (1) become educated, (2) become engaged and (3) become a zero-tolerance campus that writes ethical sourcing into policy. Some tangible avenues for action include being an early advocate for REBBL Tea from our Amazon communities, joining us for our Global Forum conference on November 1 and 2, switching to Not For Sale custom apparel and purchasing other merchandise from our Not For Sale store page. This platform is a force that drives the mission of Not For Sale, through utilizing the creative and organic innovations of passionate students.

Another organization that focuses its work on empowering others is Girls Incorporate of Metro Denver.

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