Community-based responses lead the way in anti-trafficking work in many countries, including the U.S. Think of an elephant and a mouse: a mouse, like a community group, can be nimble on the ground and change direction quickly. An elephant, like a government, takes time to change direction.3 As trafficking in persons has come to the attention of more people, small groups and organizations have been better able to quickly identify and assist victims; sometimes community groups, which do not directly know about or seek to identify and assist victims of trafficking in particular, identify victims. Members of a community are often best able to identify and address problems in their community, especially problems that are hidden in their own community. One example is domestic abuse victims who met their partner through an international matchmaking organization, and are identified and assisted by women’s rights or domestic violence organizations. Another example is labor organizers and union outreach workers who have identified agricultural and manufacturing workers in forced labor and trafficking situations.
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