Season 2, Episode 1: New Season, New Resolutions


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You’re listening to Episode 11 of the Trafficking Dispatch, a biweekly podcast that briefs you on human trafficking issues in a brief amount of time. I’m your host, Victoria Erdel. This episode will outline the resolutions for the second season of this podcast and highlight ways you can take action against human trafficking.

In Season 1, The Trafficking Dispatch team raised awareness about various aspects of human trafficking, from its many definitions and statistics, to more specific forms of the issue, like sexual exploitation, orphan trafficking, and forced labor. In our season finale, we even had the chance to hear from Jennelle Gordon, a survivor of sex trafficking who now advocates for other survivors. These first 10 episodes covered a wide range of topics, but they focused mostly on educating about human trafficking, and less on specific steps that can be taken to combat the issue.

This season is going to change that. Awareness is important, of course, but it does not solve anything on its own. It can only act as a springboard for change. While we will still have episodes that primarily inform, our team wants to bring you more content on current advocates and their work. We’re hoping our interviews with these advocates will inspire you to join or continue the fight against human trafficking. We will be interviewing a lawyer, singer-songwriter, web designer, pageant titleholder, filmmaker, and shelter worker, among others. No matter your age or background, we are confident that these upcoming episodes will show you how to apply your unique skills and passions to anti-trafficking work.

Having more action and advocacy-based episodes is not our only goal for this season. Two weeks ago was New Years Day, which means The Trafficking Dispatch team sat down to write our resolutions for this season. We decided that we not only wanted to feature more advocates, but in true Trafficking Dispatch style, we also wanted to dispel some misconceptions as well. One common misconception is that men are always the perpetrators of human trafficking crimes, and women are always the victims. This misconception is harmful because it ignores the men who are trafficking victims -- which we discussed in Episode 8 of Season 1 -- because it overlooks female traffickers who need to be brought to justice, and because it always paints men as part of the problem rather than part of the solution. This can discourage many men from becoming anti-trafficking advocates. Human trafficking is not just a women’s issue that can only be solved by women. Therefore, one of our resolutions this season is to not only highlight advocates from various professional backgrounds, but to demonstrate how a diverse set of people are needed to work together to bring an end to this atrocity.

In addition to featuring a diverse set of advocates, our next resolution is to expand our global audience. The first season had listeners in over 25 countries on five continents. We’re tracking the countries that have listeners, not because we care only about numbers or rankings, but because human trafficking is a global issue. To ensure that people around the world are being encouraged to put an end to it, we need to understand where our listeners are coming from and how to expand from there. To do this, we’re considering multiple options that will make our podcast more accessible. For example, our podcast is in English, a pretty universal language. However, it’s not spoken by everyone. We are looking for listeners who would be interested in translating our shownotes into their native languages so that we can spread the word to an even greater audience. If you’re interested in joining us in this endeavor, you can email us at the thetraffickingdispatch@gmail.com.

Another resolution, closely related to finding translators, is to expand our podcasting team. Season 1 was largely written, recorded, edited, published and promoted by myself and Emily Wang, with kind support from family, friends, and our listeners. We don’t want this podcast to center around just us two, so if you’re a student-advocate interested in joining our team, we would be more than happy to have you contact us. We’re looking for researchers, writers, hosts, interviewers, and editors, so there are plenty of positions to be filled.

Our final resolution is simply common sense: to make sure that we do not silence or suppress the voices of survivors. As we learned from Jennelle Gordon in the Season 1 finale, survivors’ voices are central to the fight against human trafficking, because only they truly understand what it is like to be directly affected by it. While we cannot guarantee that another survivor will be featured in this season, we are definitely open to it. If you are a survivor who would like to voice your story through our podcast, I urge you to email us. Regardless of whether or not we feature a survivor in this season, we can still ensure that we do not suppress their voices by giving them the option to speak on our podcast, highlighting survivor-led initiatives, and presenting human trafficking issues in a way that does not overgeneralize or misrepresent what they may experience.

With the arrival of 2018, it’s tempting to say, “New Year, New Podcast.” But that’s just not true. Our resolutions weren’t created to totally reinvent The Trafficking Dispatch and rewrite its goals, but to simply make our journey in achieving these goals more efficient and effective. With your help in this new year, we can look forward to a new season focused on concrete action against human trafficking, and a chance to check off some resolutions from our list.

This has been the Trafficking Dispatch with Victoria Erdel. You can subscribe to our SoundCloud channel and tune into our next episode which will be released on January 28 at 5 pm. Or, if you would like to interact with us before then, you can visit our website at thetraffickingdispatch.com, follow us on our social media accounts – our handles are below – or email us with any questions or suggestions at thetraffickingdispatch@gmail.com. Thank you for tuning into this episode, and we hope you’ll tune in again to join the fight against human trafficking.

Facebook: @thetraffickingdispatch
Twitter: @ttdpodcast
Instagram: @ttdpodcast_official

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