Thanks to the increased social awareness in recent years, sex-trafficking is at the forefront of our conscience and omnipresent in the news. A dark and scary term which fails to fully represent the horror of human beings who are treated as objects for sale.

When confronted with this scenario it is easy to fall into despair or denial while tending to ask, “How can one person make a difference to a problem so huge?”

However, there is no need to despair, and there are actually a lot of ways anyone can help. The problem is really big but not insurmountable. And you can even start today, simply and easily at your own time and convenience!

Social organizations and nonprofits are stepping up their activities across the world, imparting awareness, providing skill-sets and means of income for the survivors of human trafficking, as also for the young who are at high-risk for trafficking. Some of these organizations raise funds through merchandise.

Your contribution to making a difference can start off by simply choosing to shop differently. It can be as simple as going to your big-box discount store or retailer. Instead, opt for one of the numerous organizations offering many of the same things, being made by women who are striving to support themselves with dignity.

Purchasing products from such organizations may mean some who can go to bed safely tonight and wake up in order to earn a living for themselves, the honorable way. These women will now be able to support themselves with a trade and thus less likely to become victims of trafficking. Beneficiaries of your actions will now be able to support themselves with dignity.

Several major global companies have committed to the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (gBCAT) and are determined to take a proactive approach to end human trafficking, which remains widespread and difficult to uncover.

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act requires certain companies to report on their specific actions to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains. In addition, the NGO KnowTheChain encourages greater corporate understanding of the said act. It benchmarks companies in a variety of industries to help inform investor's decisions and it also provides tools and resources to help companies be in compliance with both this act and the UK Modern Slavery Act.

All this makes sound business sense as well — With increased demand supply too has to keep up. There are more and more ethical shopping options out that go ABOVE and BEYOND by playing a part in the fight to end modern day slavery. It’s time to vote with your dollars!