GCD Reflection Community Engagement – Combatting Human Trafficking

I have joined the combatting human trafficking group from the start of G11 and am continuing to contribute to it in G12 as well. So far, the CHT group has worked alongside with the NGO Lighthouse, founded by Shihoko Fujiwara. The NGO has greatly contributed in taking action against human trafficking through consultation services, educating the law enforcement/government officials, organizing awareness campaigns and lobbying the government to change legislations.

CHT has made continuous communication with Lighthouse, which has made us aware of the ongoing issue of human trafficking in Japan, and the severe situation the victims need to go through. Through donations and advocacy, we seek to make a change, and push for a difference.  CHT can support the Japanese community by spreading the knowledge that we’ve gained through our time working as a group – this is through actively communicating to our people in our school community during food fairs and other school events, and bringing it up our interpersonal time, such as transferring it to our school subjects, or sharing our knowledge to our parents. I am committed to promoting Lighthouse, and making sure younger students would be interested in joining CHT in order to continue YIS’s support to the NGO. Personally, I contributed to this, by attending speaker events, advocating for the cause and promoting the NGO during food fairs and other school events.

I believe this has contributed to the Japanese community,  because it diffuses the knowledge beyond the school community. Perhaps  once we talk about it to our parents, they’ll talk about it to their friends or relatives. This helps to make our knowledge on human trafficking more common among Japanese people, which is a small step to making a change, especially since the Japanese government still has this attitude to overlook the serious national and international issue of human/sex trafficking.

From this experience, I learnt practical skills, such as  the skill to organize effectively. As mentioned before, we’ve had the honor to invite Lighthouse to our school for speaker events, but this required operative organization and effective collaboration, which I believe I have developed more through this experience. Additionally, I also learnt the skill to communicate effectively – for example, in food fairs we are aware that we have both parents and elementary students visiting our booth, so we make pamphlets about our cause in both levels of language (one type of pamphlet for small kids, and one type of pamphlet for adults). This is needed because sometimes our younger audience could have a difficult time understanding what human trafficking is, and we can potentially get complains from parents by telling their children something that is stigmatized. For these reasons, the experience has taught me the skill to critically think what an appropriate form of communication is for our audience, to fully fulfill our purpose to raise awareness.

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