Anti-Trafficking Educational Curriculum

High School

Lesson Plan #1

Introduction to the Problem of Human Trafficking

(45 minutes)

Objectives: Students will have a better understanding of the danger and consequences of trafficking, will be able to describe the stages of the trafficking process, and will become aware of issues that make one vulnerable to exploitation.

I. Verbal Quiz as “Icebreaker” (5 minutes)

1. Ask students to choose the best definition of a “trafficked person.”

a. Someone who has left his/her country of origin by their own will, and has crossed a border without direct documentation.

b. Someone who has left his/her country of origin because his/her life was in danger.

c. Someone who was taken away from his/her country and do a job in which they were exploited.

d. Someone who is assisted to cross borders without the correct documentation in exchange for money.

[The answer is “c” : someone who was taken away to leave his/her country and do a job in which he/she was exploited

“a” = “irregular migrant”

“b” = “asylum seeker”

“d” = “smuggled person”]

Explain that the exploitation can take the form of enforced prostitution and can occur through means of force, threat, fraud, or deceit. In English, the buying and selling of women for sexual purposes is sometimes referred to as “white slavery.”

1. Who can name some Albanian organizations which help victims of trafficking?

[IOM (International Organization for Migration)

ICMC (International Catholic Migration Commission)

The Hearth (run by Save the Children) ]

2. How many Albanian women are currently victims of trafficking?

[around 6000 – 7000]

3. What’s the average age of the victim? [18 but decreasing. Traffickers want their victims to be younger and younger so that they will be virgins and AIDS - free]

Age of oldest victim? [late thirties]

Youngest? [some children as young as 8 or 9 are trafficked to beg]

4. Who is most vulnerable: someone who is male or female? [female]

Someone who has a low or high level of education? [low]

Someone from a city or a village? [village] 

5. What is the most common way girls are made victims of trafficking in Albania? You choose the best answer.

a. They are lured by promises of big money if they prostitute themselves.

b. They are kidnapped.

c. They are deceived into thinking that if they prostitute themselves for a short while, they will get a better job later.

d. They are deceived into a false marriage, believing that they are leaving the country to have a better life with their new “husband.”

[Answer is “d.” Although “a”, “b,” and “c” are also true, “d” is the most common right now in Albania. Most victims initially have no idea prostitution will be involved at all. Deceit is a common tool to recruit victims. Often, the girl’s family is deceived, too.]

6. Are most victims of trafficking willing or unwilling participants?

[unwilling. They do not leave the country intending to become prostitutes. It is crucial to make the point that this was not their choice.]

7. Name a few other countries in which traffickers exploit young women. 

[Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Thailand, China, Turkey, Cambodia, and others] 

II. Small Group Activity (20 minutes)

1. The class is divided into small groups of 5 students each. The leader is decided at random by the teacher and given a packet of materials (a series of statements and copies of a true story)*. The group members decide who in the group will play which roles. Each person in a group must have a role. 

*The teacher will have to assemble the packets before class, decide how many he/she needs, and make copies as necessary. Each packet will contain a copy of the questionnaire (below) as well as copies of the same true story for each small group member. Each group gets a different true story. (For example, one group of five students gets an envelope with one copy of the questionnaire and give copies of true story number one. The next group gets an envelope with one copy of the questionnaire and five copies of true story number two. If a class has 30 students, that means six groups of five students each. In this example, the teacher would need to make six copies of the questionnaire and five copies of six true stories for the packets.)

a. The “Leader” has already been determined at random.

b. One person is the “Timekeeper” (whose responsibility is to keep the group on track and make sure the group finishes the entire task in the amount of time given)

c. One person is the “Facilitator” (who makes sure everyone in the group participates and actively contributes)

d. One person is the “Notetaker” (who takes notes of the discussion for the “Presenter”)

e. One person is the “Presenter” (who presents the small group’s findings to the class)

2. The “Leader” opens the packet and takes out the piece of paper with the “Leader’s” directions. On a piece of paper (ideally in a notebook), students write “Opinions” at the top of the page. The “Leader” reads each statement, and each group member decides how much he/she agrees or disagrees with each one using a scale of 1 – 10. The “Leader” should read one statement, pause to let group members decide for themselves and write down their answers, and only read the next statement until everyone is ready. Each person writes down her number choice, 1 = strongly agree and 10 = strongly disagree for each statement. Students should not share their answers at this time.

Statement #1: People who get involved with trafficking could escape if they really wanted to.

Statement #2: Victims of trafficking know what they are getting themselves into.

Statement #3: Girls who are trafficked are immoral because they have become prostitutes.

Statement #4: Victims of trafficking deserve the help of the government and Albanian citizens.

Statement #5: Girls who are trafficked must somehow be a little stupid to get involved with a pimp.

Statement #6: Girls who are trafficked get involved because they need the money and have no other way to get it.

Statement #7: Girls who are trafficked have brought their fate upon themselves; nothing can be done for them, and the government should not waste money trying to help them.

Statement #8: If someone I was attracted to fell in love with me and promised me a great job far away, I would believe him/her.

Statement #9: Girls who are trafficked are victims; it’s the traffickers who are guilty of committing crimes.

Statement #10: I could never be trafficked.

[Optional: Teachers can add their own statements on the board.]

Members of the group now put their responses away and do not share them at this time. The “Leader” tells them not to throw them away because they will need them later.

3. Next, the “Leader” distributes to each group member the true story of a real victim, telling group members that a victim of trafficking wrote the story but that her name has been changed, that group members have as much time as they need to read the story, and that they should look up when they are ready to discuss it. The members of each group have the same story. Each small group in the class has a different story. After everyone in the group has read the story, the teacher gives the groups a time limit for discussion (at least 15 minutes) and reminds the class that the “Facilitator,” “Timekeeper,” and “Notetaker” will be playing their roles. The “Leader” leads the small group with the following questions:

a. What is your reaction to this story?

b. How does this story make you feel?

c. Which part of the story affected you the most?

d. Who is the trafficker in the story?

e. How did this happen to her? Why did she become trafficked?

f. What options/alternatives does she have?

g. Is she at fault for what happened to her? Explain your viewpoint.

h. What would you do if you were her?

i. If she were a member of our class, what would you want to say to her?

III. Presentations (20 minutes)

When the time limit is up, the teacher explains that each “Presenter” will give a short presentation on their group’s story and that students should look for any similarities in the stories. The “Presenter” of group one, relying on notes from the “Notetaker,” summarizes the story for the class as well as the group’s reaction to it.

When all the presentations are over, the teacher asks the class, “What similarities do you see?” and writes students’ responses on the board. Similarities may include methodology of the recruiter, characteristics of the victim, characteristics of the recruiter, reasons for the victims’ decision to accept the recruiter, etc.

IV. Homework

Students need to finish writing about the similarities in the stories if they were not able to finish the task in class. Students are also given two reading assignments about trafficking and told they will discuss their reactions at the next class. {The following story is the first assignment; the other should be a recent newspaper article about trafficking, and this reading assignment needs to be chosen.}

The Story of V.

My name is V, and I am fifteen years old. I have a mother, a stepfather, a younger sister, and two younger step-brothers. I come from a small village in southern Albania.

My real father died when I was four, and my mother married my stepfather a year later. My stepfather works only occasionally. He is an alcoholic and beats my mother, me, and the other children when he gets drunk.

When I was thirteen, one of my friend’s brothers introduced me to his cousin, a twenty-one year old boy named B. who was from another village. B. and I started spending time together, and he told me he loved me. He took me to restaurants for dinner, and one day he bought me a necklace with a heart on it. I still have it.

A few weeks later, B. brought me flowers and proposed to me. It was the happiest day of my life. When I told him I wanted to tell my parents, he said that there was no need for making known this relationship we have. He said that he wanted to leave to go to Italy the next day. He said that he had relatives there who could get him a good job and that I wouldn’t have to work. He told me about how beautiful our life would be together there.

He got illegal documents, and I left with him the next day. He told me to tell my mother that I was going to the house of a friend, so I did. We arrived in Italy that night, and that night my life changed forever. He locked me in a hotel room and told me I couldn’t leave; I never saw him again. I was alone in the room for three hours and didn’t know what to do. At around 2:30 am three men came in and began beating me. They all raped me. The main one, called L., told me that B. had “sold” me and that now I belonged to him. I had to do what he said, or he would kill me. This treatment lasted for about a week. I was only given food once a day. When he told me at first that I would have to become a prostitute, I resisted, but he continued this treatment.

I was then “sold” to another trafficker who treated me even worse. Once he beat me so hard that I could not see out of one eye for two days. He told me that he paid money for me and that I would have to work to pay him back. His name was A. and he told me that if I would not do this thing that he knew where my family lived and would rape my sister and kill my mother. I was alone and scared. I didn’t care anymore about my life, but I was afraid for my family. 

Another girl came to train me. I started to work in this way and sometimes couldn’t even believe that it was me doing such a thing. Sometimes I had to beg from my clients soap and toothpaste. I wanted to get out, but I knew that my trafficker controlled all the streets in this area. He even controlled the police.

After three weeks like this I was arrested and deported to Albania. It was only later that I discovered what had happened to me. B. was never the cousin of my friend’s brother. He lied to me and cheated me just like everyone else. He was my doom. Sometimes I curse myself and what has happened to me. When I think about what has happened to me I am sick. I tell my story to prevent this for others. Now I am trying to find a new path.

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