Models Against Trafficking & What You Can Do To Help

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Models Against Trafficking is a non-profit organization that supports the anti-trafficking movement. This non-profit is powered by its models, who use their social media as a platform for positive change and to build awareness on the very real issue of human trafficking. 

While there will always be glitz and glamour in the modeling industry, it is also important to be conscious of our world's realities. Human trafficking is a big issue seen everywhere. Even locally in Ohio, trafficking has been an issue that's needed more awareness considering the growing number of cases each year. According to former Governor of Ohio John Kasich, in his Executive Order regarding human trafficking, more than 1,000 Ohio children are estimated to be trafficked each year. Toledo has been ranked as the fourth largest recruitment site for minor sex trafficking in the country.

As an agency, our model and talent's safety is our highest priority, and we believe education is the key to prevention. Non-profit organizations like Models Against Trafficking are here to address these problems and face them in a manner that brings awareness and accountability, also preventing others from becoming victims.

The Models Against Trafficking website, states that most trafficking victims meet their traffickers online. With the vast platforms of social media today, it is critical to address safety concerns regarding "meeting" strangers via the internet. Often, traffickers will pose as modeling agents or photographers in an attempt to recruit young aspiring models. The average victim is as young as fourteen years of age, but sometimes even younger. Modeling websites, forums, and message boards advocating freelance modeling or collaborating with photographers can be a very dangerous place. This is why it is essential for any aspiring model/talent to work with a reputable agency with solid, safe connections in the industry. Part of the responsibility of a respected agency like Pro-Model & Talent Management (PMTM) is to ensure that any potential client is legitimate and safe. Trying to navigate the industry by yourself can put you at risk, making you a target for these predators.

Online recruiting can be on any social media platform, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, etc. These predatory relationships between a victim and their traffickers usually begin with the trafficker liking and commenting on a post and then moving on to direct messaging.

Traffickers build a relationship and a level of "trust" (although we know it is not real) with their social media victims. Victims who fall prey to this are often lured in by promises of opportunities and exposure. Once a relationship is built, it may get difficult to see between the lines of who and what is safe. 

One of Model's Against Trafficking's common taglines is: "Join the Movement." This meaning, of course, joining the non-profit by following their Instagram (@modelsagainsttrafficking) or subscribing to their newsletter to receive more detailed information on their mission. Having an online presence, big or small, supporting this movement and other anti-trafficking organizations discourages traffickers and can help end this dangerous cycle.

The Models Against Trafficking Instagram also have many posts that offer helpful tips and educate for anti-trafficking.

They say that people are the most powerful force against traffickers and awareness is the first step in bringing about real change. While the non-profit's backbone may be their models and the lesson against trafficking, they gain their support from us, everyday people who are educated in support of anti-trafficking. 

At PMTM, we stand united against human trafficking and are committed to keeping our models and talent safe.

To get help or report trafficking, call the National Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text "BeFree" (233733). 

Written by: Alyssa Lambo

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