Too Young To Tackle Human Trafficking?

Youth Underground answers with a resounding, "NO!"

Kicked off just over two years ago, today Youth Underground is the largest global youth platform addressing human trafficking.

We (F14) asked Youth Underground (YU), “Why youth?”

YU: 1. Because the youth are not only the prime victims of human trafficking (often as young as five years old), but are also; 2. those who speak out (activists and change-makers) against this illicit trade and influence their peers as well as adults, namely parents and teachers.

PROGRESS TO CELEBRATE

F14: Do you have something specific that you have made progress on in the past year (however large or small!) that you would like to highlight to people who care about anti-trafficking, so we can celebrate together?

YU: This year, Youth Underground partnered with CNN and The CNN Freedom Project for #MyFreedomDay to highlight the value of freedom by the youth and celebrate those who have it.

The lead-up was an event on March 14 at the International School of Geneva with a student panel and a Q&A with audience. You can see coverage of Youth Underground by CNN here.

(For detailed information about this initiative, please see our (YU's) website here.)

F14: We love this! Empowering young people to speak up and use their voices, not for the voiceless, but for those whose voices are silenced or ignored. Listening to others is so vital as we seek to raise awareness and be advocates.

HOW CAN SOMEONE HELP WITH WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON NOW/NEXT?

FF: Do you have an initiative/or project you’re working on this year that people could get involved with/help with/support?

YU: We would like to continue being a global voice that supports youth initiatives worldwide to endorse anti-human trafficking concepts and policies.

One of the initiatives we would like to feature is the Youth Underground T-shirt, which is more than just a T-shirt: it’s a call to action!

The Youth Underground T-shirt is a slavery-free fair trade product.

Fair trade products seek to promote greater equity in international trading partnerships through dialogue, transparency, and respect. They promote sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of producers and workers in developing countries.

Fair Trade is more than just trading:

  • It proves that greater justice in world trade is possible.
  • It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.
  • It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.

Wearing the Youth Underground T-shirt means you respect the human rights, dignity and integrity of an individual – regardless of gender, origin, race, religious/spiritual beliefs, and social/economic status. You are raising awareness about the value of a human life. And this is what our association is all about!

Through the T-shirts and their visibility – in a very simple manner – we hope to achieve the following:

  1. Increased engagement of Youth Underground’s target audience (youth as well as companies, associations, private donors and the media – mainstream and social) in the Association’s programs and products.
  2. Reference to Youth Underground as an example of education, awareness-raising and prevention work with the youth.
  3. Participation of Youth Underground in international meetings.

The T-shirts are US$ 25 (including P&P) and can be ordered online here.

We have photos/selfies of people from all continents wearing the T-shirts, and this is what we would like to continue seeing!

F14: Youth Underground, that’s amazing! Throughout history, young people and students have often been on the forefront of social change. We love your focus on engaging and empowering youth to use their voices to influence one another and those in positions of authority, whether companies or governments. And not to speak without thinking, but to reflect on freedom and to make choices that facilitate others’ freedom.

Find out more about Youth Underground’s progress and projects at

TAKE ACTION:

Use Your Body Language: Order a slave-free t-shirt and let your clothes speak out for freedom Click here to Order.

Get to the “Heart of the Matter”: Donate $25, $85 or $500 to the creation of the documentary about the refugee crisis and trafficking in Europe. Click here to Donate.

Nothing happens just because we are aware of modern day slavery,
but nothing will ever happen until we are.
— Gary Haugen, Founder of International Justice Mission
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