Our Frontline Response to COVID-19
COVID-19 continues to affect the most vulnerable people in the world and human trafficking survivors are the hidden victims of the pandemic.
How does COVID-19 affect human trafficking?
We know trafficking is most likely to happen in economically depressed environments. Right now in Cebu City, businesses are closing and many trafficking victims have been laid off from their jobs. They are worried about having enough money to buy food. As the COVID-19 crisis intensifies, the risk of trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people also grows.
How are we operating our program?
Though our programs continue, our approach is evolving as the crisis unfolds, and as we hear from survivors what their greatest needs are.
Like countless other organizations and businesses around the world, we have had to be creative. Our entire team across the Philippines and North America is working from home. However, staff and counselors in Cebu remain in close contact with survivors via phone calls, texts, and social media, knowing this is a crucial time to stay connected.
We have deployed our Crisis Intervention Team to respond to survivors who are facing urgent and critical needs. The number of survivors who are being laid off, or whose income has been affected by the pandemic is rising every day.
We have also initiated emergency cash transfers to help survivors who have lost jobs and are hungry and cannot afford food for their children.
How are we keeping staff and survivors safe?
All of our staff are following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and raising awareness with survivors about the virus and now to minimize risk. We’ve postponed all in-person meetings and training sessions and continue to provide emotional and financial support to survivors as needed. We’ve also asked any staff member who shows symptoms of COVID-19 to immediately let us know so we can help them access healthcare.
We are committed to hearing from survivors how business closures are affecting them and are prepared to adapt our response as the crisis evolves.
How can you support trafficking victims during this crisis?
These are unprecedented times and we invite you to help the most vulnerable people right now by donating here.
This is a global crisis that affects us all. We are all in this together. Thank you for your support, for your compassion, and for your generosity.