Are you ready to talk to your kid about human trafficking?

As a parent, you play an important role.

In a 2023 youth survey conducted by TAT, 80% of kids said they would go to a parent if they were concerned about a friend or classmate. Forty-four percent said their parents were a main source of information about what’s going on in the world (second only to social media).  It’s important to educate your child about how they can keep themselves and their friends safe, and how they can take care of their community. You also want to be prepared for how to handle it if your kid ever comes to you for help. See below for resources and ways in which you can talk to your kids about human trafficking and keep them safe.

Learn the signs.

Learn how to recognize the signs that your child or one of their peers is at risk for human trafficking.

Make sure they know you’re a safe space.

Make sure your kid knows that they can come to you if they need help, even if they’ve broken a rule or think you might be mad. Prepare how you might respond if they do come to you with concerns.

Help them create safety plans.

Come up with a code word together that they can text or say as a signal that they need help or feel uncomfortable about something. Help them to identify two trusted adults besides you and memorize their phone numbers.

Donate to a local shelter or pantry.

Traffickers target people experiencing poverty and/or homelessness. Donating to a local food pantry or shelter can help address these vulnerabilities in your community. Visit Feeding America (U.S.) or Food Banks Canada (CAN) to find a food pantry in your area.

Talk about online safety.

Traffickers often meet their victims online while they are pretending to be someone else. Learn how to plan for and talk to your kids about digital safety.

Encourage schools to get involved.

Schools play an important role in the development and safety of youth. Use our School Outreach Kit to encourage your school district to train their school transportation staff with our free materials on how to recognize and report human trafficking.

Get help.

If anyone of any age is in trouble, being threatened or made to do something they don’t want to do, there is help available. Call 1-888-3737-888 (U.S.) | 233733 (TEXT-U.S.) | 1-833-900-1010 (CAN) to reach a human trafficking hotline. You can also report online exploitation to the CyberTipline.

Keep in touch.

Sign up for the Cool Aunt Series newsletter or follow her on Instagram (@thecoolauntseries) to learn more about this issue and how you can help. Rachel is a survivor of human trafficking and she shares real life info to youth about staying safe and fighting trafficking. You can also purchase her course for your kid.