Introduction from the Founder
The Trafficking Dispatch began one summer day in Beijing as I was washing the dishes. Because dish washing is one of my least favorite chores, I decided to make it a little more tolerable by simultaneously listening to podcasts. I was interning at an anti-trafficking social enterprise at the time, so I chose podcasts about human trafficking. As informative as these podcasts were, they were often too long. Most of the time I would finish washing the dishes before the episode had ended. I decided not to stand around and wait for it to finish. I had other things to do, and unlike washing the dishes, listening to a podcast while completing these tasks would only distract me.
That is how this podcast came to be. The Trafficking Dispatch is a bi-weekly podcast about human trafficking that is produced by and for busy college students. Each episode is around 15 minutes, which is short enough for students to listen to while walking to their next class. Our podcast informs college students on current issues and discussions in human trafficking scholarship without upsetting the balance of their busy student lives. That is our tagline: Briefing you on human trafficking issues in a brief amount of time.
Although people of any age and profession can listen to and participate in our podcast, our target audience is college students. Why? The first reason is fairly obvious: as college students ourselves, we are better able to connect with our generation than any other age cohort. Additionally, because many of us attend schools outside of our hometowns, we are some of the most mobile people. We have access to at least two distinct communities with whom we can share information. If we can inform college students about human trafficking, then we can spread awareness about the issue on a wider scale. College students also have a reputation for being politically and socially active; this is not without reason. As we prepare to enter the professional workforce, we are beginning to realize our purchasing power and the influence of our voices. Furthermore, because human trafficking largely revolves around how people work, it only makes sense for emerging professionals to care about the conditions under which other people work.
This also reveals the final reason why we target college students. We are among the first generations to live in a globalized world ‒ one that is only becoming more interconnected ‒ so we cannot avoid the issues caused by human trafficking. From health issues stemming from sex trafficking to immigration concerns caused by forced labor, human trafficking is a problem that constantly intersects with our everyday lives. As the next generation of leaders, we cannot ignore this issue.
I am thrilled that you have decided to listen to our podcast, and I want to thank you for helping The Trafficking Dispatch grow from an idea conceived in a Beijing kitchen to a movement of college students working to end human trafficking.