By Devin Hiett
1Huddle is partnering with Saving Jane to help educate young people across New Jersey about the dangers of human trafficking.
Saving Jane is a nonprofit committed to ending all forms of modern-day slavery and human trafficking by raising public awareness, educating youth through prevention training, and helping free survivors from the trauma of their past experiences.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that over 60,000 children are likely victims of child sex trafficking in the United States each year. The majority of these children are native U.S. citizens from lower- and middle-class families who are recruited by sex traffickers through social media. If nothing changes, these children will be trapped in an endless cycle of exploitation and violence.
Over the course of the pandemic, the situation has turned even more dire.
Children’s susceptibility to exploitation has increased since the start of COVID, because millions of young people are spending more time than ever on social media. Before the pandemic, 8-to-12-year-olds in America spent an average of 6 hours using entertainment media each day, and teens aged 13-18 averaged about 9 hours per day. Since COVID started, screen time has soared an additional 60%—and that’s not including time spent on school and homework. So students of all ages are now spending more time on their phones and less time in school, where conversations about the dangers of trafficking usually happen.
That’s where 1Huddle comes in.
If we’re going to successfully engage students on this vitally important topic, we need to meet them where they’re at and give kids the freedom and ability to learn from anywhere, at any time. Since students are spending an unprecedented amount of time on their phones, transforming sex trafficking education into a mobile-first gaming format is the perfect avenue for expanding awareness to reach students of all ages and backgrounds so that we can end trafficking and exploitation in America.
And since this is such a dark subject, games make this content more palatable and engaging for all students. Rather than shying away from topics that are difficult and uncomfortable to discuss, kids now have a way to connect with this information in a way that’s engaging, creative, communal, competitive, and most notably: mobile-first.
1Huddle is here to help Saving Jane increase awareness by giving New Jersey’s young people access to education and training they can engage with from anywhere. Our ability to increase access to millions of students combined with the gamification aspect of 1Huddle’s platform guarantees that all children can have access to training on this vitally important issue.
In addition to partnering with Saving Jane, we are also working with the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking to build games that will be rolled out to students in over 100 New Jersey schools. These schools are going to engage in the “Slam Dunk Against Human Trafficking Challenge,” which will be launched using 1Huddle's training platform to students across the state. The games will raise awareness about human trafficking through three key topics: online grooming, prevention and awareness, and forced labor.
All of the games are built by Saving Jane, the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, 1Huddle, and human trafficking survivors. The rollout will be launched this month, since January 2020 is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States. Thousands of students at more than 100 K-12 schools will be participating in the challenge.
1Huddle is committed to helping Saving Jane secure a better future for every young person in America. Our mission is to fight for all workers, and we can’t do that until we fight for our young people. They are the future of our workforce, our communities, our businesses, our leadership, and our world.
This is just one step toward creating a better, more equitable, safer future for America’s children. To find out more about what 1Huddle is doing to fight for equal opportunity and access for our communities, head to our Social Impact page.
Check out our plan that outlines a position that we at 1Huddle fight for everyday; for every worker.