It’s depressing and overwhelming to research human trafficking. It’s such a big issue in the world, and one that makes us all feel very small.

What can we really do to make a difference in a global issue like this?

Well actually, we can do more than we think. If you want to know how to fight human trafficking in your everyday life, start with these five steps.

How to Fight Human Trafficking #1: Learn More

If someone were to ask you what human trafficking is, how would you answer? That it’s a form of slavery? That it includes women who are trafficked into the sex industry (pornography and prostitution)? That there are millions of men, women, and children who are kidnapped, lied to, and forced into working conditions that are inhumane, and they create many of the things we buy at the store?

Yeah, step one is definitely: learn more! Pick up a book or two, read some online articles, or check out organizations like IJM to get some facts, and grow your understanding of what the problem is.

How to Fight Human Trafficking #2: Buy Shrewdly

You have purchase power. There’s a reason terms like “Fair Trade” exist, and it doesn’t only refer to farmer’s getting a “fair” payment for coffee beans or cocoa (two products often created through modern slavery). Once you do some research on terms like “Fair Trade,” “B-Corps,” and “liveable wage,” you can wield your purchase power more wisely.

In order to grow towards a goal of only buying things that are not made by slaves or underpaid workers, you’ll have to be shrewd, and quite ruthless. You could focus special attention on the garment industry, or the coffee, chocolate, or rice industries. Wherever you start, remember that starting somewhere is what matters.

How to Fight Human Trafficking #3: Connect Locally

Human Trafficking is not an “over-there” problem or a “big city” problem. Human trafficking happens just about everywhere in the United States nearly every day.

Here in Grand Rapids (where Reclaim Today is based), we have an organization called the Manasseh Project. They’re fighting against trafficking that happens right in our backyard.

Take some time to look locally in your area, and connect with an organization that can help you figure out how to fight human trafficking in your own city!

How to Fight Human Trafficking #4: Inform Others

It’s surprising how few people know how common human trafficking is or even what it is.

Use the new knowledge you are collecting to share with others about it. (Quick reminder: we all tend to get passionate about something. Sometimes, we let that passion lead us to annoy the people around us. So consider how you can be winsome and loving as you inform your friends, family, and social community about modern day slavery.)

Informing others could be as simple as inviting friends or family to join you at an event for the local organization you’ve connected with!

How to Fight Human Trafficking #5: Pray Continuously

God is a God of justice, and he HATES injustice. Part of why he has you here on earth is to be an agent of his justice.

But human trafficking is a global issue that is bigger than any one of us. So as active as you get, don’t forget to pray.

Pray for God to open your eyes, and the eyes of your community, to the issues. Pray for God to connect you with the right organizations. Pray for God to guide you to products that don’t cause more harm or to keep you from supporting unjust organizations. And ask God to lead you to the right sources of information.

And as you keep exploring how to fight human trafficking, we want to share one last word of encouragement that has helped us:

Don’t put on yourself the pressure of trying to change the world, but make it your daily goal to change someone’s world.

You won’t be able to solve the problem of human trafficking on your own, but every little thing you do makes a difference (even when it doesn’t feel like it). So don’t get discouraged or give up, just start back at step 1 again, and ask God for strength to do your part.