Slavery. Together we can End It.

Trades of Hope Founder, Elisabeth Huijskens


Trades of Hope is changing the lives of those in poverty, including slavery victims, every day and is proud to participate in the End It Movement again this year. Won’t you stand with us?

You may be curious why people wear a red “X” on their hands today. The red “X” is worn today as part of the End It Movement to raise awareness of the many forms of slavery that not only exist today but are growing.

In 2014, 27 million people were in slavery. Today, an estimated 40 million people in 167 countries are victims of modern day slavery.*

Those who mark their hands on February 7th are encouraged to share photos of their red “X” on social media to help further shine a light on the problem.

What is "Modern Day Slavery"?

Bond / Debt Slavery

Forced to work to pay off a debt; often continuing long after the debt has been repaid, even into the next generation.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal.

Child Slavery

Worldwide, 1 in 4 victims is a child, forced into physical labor, domestic slavery, fighters in armed conflict, sexual abuse, child marriage, and other illicit activities.*

40 Million

All around the world, human trafficking is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights, yet 40 million people are trapped in these horrific conditions today.

Forty.  MILLION.

The number is too large to even visualize. Let’s just try to wrap our heads around the enormity of 40,000,000 …

What’s the equivalent to approximately 40 million people?

Let’s say you’re at the Super Bowl with 73,000 others in a sold-out crowd. Go back the next day with a totally different crowd. Repeat this with another new crowd of strangers every… single… day… for 548 days… A new person in every one of those seats, day after day, for one and a half YEARS … all trapped in a form of slavery.

The numbers are as mind-blowing and incomprehensible as the crimes. Yet so many remain unaware qthat slavery even exists today. In fact, relatively few even know of the fight going on around them.

In Your Backyard

It’s happening here, in your backyard. Today.

In factories, mines, street corners, homes, and brothels. Many consider it a problem that happens “over there,” but guess what?

This is not somebody else’s problem.

A member of our own Trades of Hope home team recently shared this story:

A relative of hers works for a major airline. She noticed 2 underage girls traveling together to a big city with one-way tickets. (Thankfully, this airline trains its agents to recognize signs of trafficking!) The agent stalled the girls with small talk while the airline investigated… Long story, short: the tickets were bought with a stolen credit card by a man who met the girls online. He lured them away from their parents — not hard to do when you prey on vulnerable teens for a living. Promises of a free trip from their basic small town to the excitement of a big city, to make money as glamorous models was an easy sell.

This is happening right under our noses! This isn’t a story overheard at a rally in some big city with celebrity guest speakers and media coverage. This is a story heard first-hand.  Shared around a lunchroom table by a coworker. On a random Wednesday.

More people need to be aware of the atrocities happening all around them. But awareness is only the beginning!

  • We need to tell others.
  • We need to take action.
  • We need to stand up for injustice.
  • We need to end it.

Drawing a red “X” on your hand today is one way to raise awareness. There are other ways you can have a direct impact on the lives of slavery victims. Every day of the year.

Partner with a Purpose

Trades of Hope is empowering women out of poverty around the world. We currently work with over 13,000 artisans in 17 countries to help them rise out of desperate situations.

For example:

We partner with artisans in Nepal, where over 10,000 women and girls are trafficked each year into the international sex trade, banished to brothels in India and around the world. We work with these groups in Nepal to sell their handmade products for a fair wage. The artisans are provided with education, clothing, and household allowances, low-interest loans, seminars on health, nutrition, and women’s rights by participating in this group. Through creating these products, these women gain self-esteem and are realizing their worth; they are becoming less vulnerable to sex trafficking.

Studies show that for every woman empowered out of poverty, she brings with her an average of 3.5 family members. In our artisans’ communities, 42,890 people were helped in 2017. Trades of Hope believes that by empowering these women, generational changes are taking place among the lives of artisans and their communities in Nepal!

Trades of Hope began partnering with a new artisan group in rural Asia last year in an area where women often fall prey to sex trafficking in order to support their families. This artisan group is rescuing women out of brothels and providing healthy work and rehabilitation in a supportive environment.

The holistic care the women are given provides opportunities for vocational training, healthcare, shelter, counseling, and education grants for the women and their children. Through community outreach programs, a path for hope and restoration has been given to empower these women towards a joyful future.

None of this is possible without women like you.

The women who sell these and other artisans’ handcrafted products through Trades of Hope are called “Compassionate Entrepreneurs“, or “CEs”. Over 6,000 CEs are changing lives daily. Each piece a CE sells symbolizes hope and represents that artisan rising out of poverty. Just as important, every time a CE shares a beautiful catalog with someone, they raise awareness and show others a way they can help create change for people in poverty and slavery. Real, lasting change.

Won't You Stand with Us?

Forty million is unacceptable. X

If you’re willing to step up and take a stand for those around the world suffering in poverty and forms of slavery… you have the power to do something about it.

You can help these women become the heroes of their own stories by empowering them.


Trades of Hope partners with Women Rescued from Sex Trafficking.

You can help us continue to provide opportunities for sustainable work to keep women out of sex trafficking.

Ready to Stand Against Sex Trafficking?


Barb Desouza
About Barb Desouza
Barb has dabbled in Admin, Tech, and Customer Service at Trades of Hope before finding her sweet spot in the Marketing/Communication team. Better known as her alter-ego, "Barbara Hope" in the CE's Facebook world, she's passionate about coffee, grammar, Boston sports teams (sorry, Jeremy), and having a witty comeback for most situations.

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