Not For Sale University Curriculum

Welcome to the abolitionist movement! Yes, you may have chosen Not for Sale as a reader
for your course, honors program, common reader initiative, or “town/gown” reading
selection, but you have also joined a movement. You are helping to make a horrific yet
largely hidden aspect of the global village visible. You are educating others that although
the scourge of slavery may have been legally abolished in our country more than 150 years
ago, it is a reality in every state today. You are empowering students to find their voices and
raise them in the fight to free the estimated 48 million men, women, and children enslaved
throughout the world.
We would like to help your class, department, program, or institution have a positive
experience as well. That’s the impetus for this Instructor’s Manual: We want to provide
numerous resources, ideas, sample assignments, and out-of-class engagement opportunities
for you. Feel free to contact us directly if you have questions regarding the material, and please let us know what new ideas, resources, and assignments you develop.
As you prepare to integrate Not for Sale into your curriculum, we encourage you
to think broadly. This is an interdisciplinary topic that can be explored from a variety of
perspectives. Very few academics are truly content experts on the issue of modern-day
slavery, so this is an intriguing topic to explore with your students and colleagues. Learn,
create, debate, and engage in the issues together. We found it to be quite a worthwhile
experience, and we are confident you will, too.
Written by Ruth A. Goldfine, Ph.D.; Keisha L. Hoerrner, Ph.D.; & David Batstone, Ph.D.
Kennesaw State University & the University of San Francisco, 2008 (copyright retained by authors)
Buy the Not For Sale (first addition) book to accompany the University Curriculum guide.
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The Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union funded Not For Sale to create Awareness Guidelines for companies wanting to help stop forced labor and human trafficking


Companies, reaching billions of consumers each day, can play a crucial role in raising awareness and educating consumers about human trafficking. Their messages transcend geographical borders and cultural barriers, and reach areas where television and internet have not yet traveled — areas where trafficking can be most prevalent. Internally, corporations are incubators of innovative and continued learning. They are experts on efficiently educating large numbers of people from various backgrounds. This expertise, combined with their communication reach, makes companies uniquely positioned to build understanding of what human trafficking is and how it can be addressed.

The aim of these Awareness Guidelines is to be a tool for companies that wish to support the fight against human trafficking by raising awareness among consumers and employees. The guide provides examples of how businesses can communicate externally about trafficking through product packaging, social media, endorsement, campaigns, and in-store communication. It also highlights examples of how companies can work to educate employees internally by offering online training, organizing internal workshops, and participating in external forums. Each area is illustrated by an example of how companies work, or have worked, to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Download the Awareness Guidelines


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This training guide is based on the online training tool Human Trafficking Awareness Course, developed by Not For Sale and the Samilia Foundation in consultation with Delhaize Group and with financial support from the European Commission. The online course and this guide are part of a project that seeks to develop a set of tools for companies looking to address the issue of human trafficking. You can access all the tools at:

This training material is primarily designed to educate corporate employees about human trafficking. The training does not target a specific employee group or industry, but is intended to raise awareness about trafficking on a broad scale. Hence, other groups in society looking to learn more about this complex issue can easily use this training guide as well. The guide can be used as reading material on its own, or serve as the base for interactive workshops and group discussions. If you use it as training material, feel free to add a chapter about what you and your company do, or plan to do, to fight human trafficking.

The training guide is composed of three chapters, each focusing on answering three key questions: what is human trafficking, why does human trafficking exist, and, how can we fight human trafficking. Each chapter is divided into regular and optional sub-sections, which allow you to go into more detail in certain areas. Optional sections are marked with Roman numerals. The course starts and ends with two short questionnaires, intended to support the learning process and identify any gaps in the understanding of human trafficking. At the end of the course, a summary is provided, as well as suggestions on resources for continued learning.

Thank you for your interest to learn more about human trafficking. We hope you finish this course feeling empowered to help create a world where no one is for sale.


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A war without glory

A war without glory


Conversations about human trafficking often use the language of war.

We’re fighting slavery. Combatting human trafficking. And anti-trafficking movements – like anti-war movements – abound.

If the fight against trafficking really is like a war, it is a war without hope of any glory.

The world is taken at present with the example of Ukrainian people, whose courage and determination to fight is inspiring. Stories like those of parents and grandparents arming themselves with molotov cocktails, or farmers stealing tanks, make us all wonder if we could be so brave should we be in the same situation.

But for victims of human trafficking, the fight for freedom does not always look so heroic.

Surviving is often a matter of waiting and looking for an opportunity – perhaps holding on for years. While many do resist, it is often safer to succumb, to submit, while secretly keeping alive the hope that one day there will be a chance for escape.

Those who do survive trafficking are likely then to find themselves blamed for their own ordeal. I wrote recently on the blog about this issue, and how even people meaning to do well may be putting survivors through renewed trauma.

Last week, Ly’s ordeal of slavery in Myanmar came to an end after two very long years. She was 19 when she was tricked into following a friend, believing they were off to find a job in a restaurant.

Her time locked into brothels in the Shan state of Myanmar was brutal. Added to the constant violence and threats was her personal shame at being deceived; her failure to provide for her family by finding a proper job; and her guilt at obeying her captors despite the horror she felt.

Not For Sale’s partner Blue Dragon helped Ly and two other young women to escape and return to Vietnam by traveling overland. They arrived at the border on Tuesday evening and are now reunited with their families.


“Last week, Ly’s ordeal of slavery in Myanmar came to an end after two very long years. She was 19 when she was tricked into following a friend, believing they were off to find a job in a restaurant.”

– Michael Brosowski

But this is no glorious victory against human trafficking for Ly and her friends. It is a victory – given all that has happened, they can be proud just to be alive. Calling for help as they did was a massive risk, and they showed extraordinary bravery to undertake the long journey back to Vietnam.

However, their fight is not over. Being safely home is not the end of Ly’s war. She will live with this trauma for the rest of her life; we can help with that, through counselling and material assistance, but nobody who survives the experience of slavery can simply put it behind them and ‘move on’. The war lives with them, under their skin, for a very long time.

Our world needs peace: an end to war and a start to people living respectfully with each other. Even though the battle that Ly has fought might not have a glorious ending, she should nonetheless inspire us all – simply for surviving.


More than just a game

More than just a game


The headline figures are pretty exciting.

Over 1,000 people rescued from slavery. That means: children who were in sweatshops; women and girls who were forced into prostitution or sold into marriages; young men sold onto fishing boats or into gold mines.

Almost 6,000 kids back in school. That’s boys and girls from extreme poverty in every grade from pre-school through to university.

And then there’s more than 600 homeless children reunited with their families. That means children who ran away from home or went in search for work but ended up destitute, now back with their parents and communities.

Not For Sale’s partner Blue Dragon’s work is best known for these serious, life changing acts of charity that have the power to transform lives.

But there’s another figure that’s equally important. Since we began, Not For Sale’s partner Blue Dragon has played over 3,000 games of football.

This can seem a little out of place. If we’re rescuing kids from such terrible situations and helping them find sustainable, long-term solutions to their problems, where do these games fit in to the big picture?

In fact, football has always been a part of our organisation. We began playing football with street kids even before Not For Sale’s partner Blue Dragon was officially registered. It was a way to meet street kids on their own turf. From there, they could access our help and services.

Nam was one of those kids who came to Not For Sale’s partner Blue Dragon in our early days. He didn’t want help to go back to school because he needed to earn money. Everything he earned was for his mother and younger brothers in the countryside. But he was a passionate football player and agreed to come to our weekly games.

It was his only leisure activity each week and he never, ever missed it.

The Sunday games that Nam attended allowed him to make new friends and build trust with those of us who were starting Blue Dragon. When we offered to help him have surgery to fix a problem with his throat, he was thrilled. His mother came to the city and sat by his hospital bedside as he recovered. She was immensely grateful that her son was finally receiving medical attention.

After a year of playing football, Nam trusted us enough to seek our help. He still needed to earn money so he wanted to find a job rather than a training program. We introduced him to a man named Donald Berger, one of Hanoi’s best restauranters, and Nam’s life changed forever.

Nam went on to win awards as a chef, and for a few years he worked part time for Not For Sale’s partner Blue Dragon, cooking up the meals we serve to the kids every day. These days he’s the head chef for a company that has 7 restaurants, so his hands are quite full.

He did, however, introduce us to another great chef to take his place: a woman named Trang, who just happens to be his wife. She’s as passionate about serving up meals to homeless children and survivors of trafficking as Nam. She’s also an award-winning chef in her own right.


“Looking back at Nam’s story, we can see how much his life has changed. And it all started with a game of football.”

– Michael Brosowski

Looking back at Nam’s story, we can see how much his life has changed. And it all started with a game of football.

There are many kids like Nam once was: not yet ready to take the plunge and commit to changing their lives, but glad of the chance to play some football.

Blue Dragon United, as the team is known, has an important place in our work. It doesn’t grab the headlines like a rescue from a brothel or a child trafficker arrested and imprisoned, but for the children who play, these games mean so much.

They’re more than just a game. They’re a chance to be a child, to laugh and play despite everything else that’s happening in the world. And that game of football might be the moment that changes a life forever.


Real freedom

Real freedom


The rescue operation went exactly to plan.

We located Sẻng in China, about 500km from the border from Vietnam. A team was able to get her back to an official checkpoint within 24 hours. Shortly after, she was safely back in Vietnam.

Sẻng’s terrifying 4 months in slavery as a forced bride were over.

But what happened next was a little unusual.

Once across the border, Sẻng asked if it was ok to NOT give a statement to the police.

Normally we accompany trafficking survivors to meet the police and make a formal report, so that their traffickers can be caught. Under Vietnamese law, victims of crime have the right to refuse to make a statement, but usually survivors are eager to report the crime.

When asked why she was reluctant, Sẻng explained that she wanted nothing more than to be at home with her family. She feared that if they knew what had happened to her, she would be judged and cast out of the community.

Sẻng thanked us for responding to her call for help and bringing her back to Vietnam. But, in a quiet, nervous, voice, she asked us to now let her go home alone and to not contact her again.

Sẻng knew that we could offer legal representation, emergency shelter, counselling, and assistance to go back to school or get a job… but all she wanted was to forget the nightmare she had just escaped and return to her home. She had already planned in detail how she would explain her absence to her family; they would never know that she had been trafficked and sold, or that she had ever stepped foot in China.

Respecting her wishes, we handed Sẻng the bus fare back to her home town. With a little extra cash to buy new clothes and some food, Sẻng stepped onto the bus and said farewell. With our number programmed into her phone, she was welcome to call any time should she change her mind. The decision was hers.


Sẻng’s story reminds us of how important it is to listen to women and girls who survive the experience of human trafficking – and not to listen to the biases we’ve learned over the years.

– Michael Brosowski

Sẻng’s desire for total anonymity – her desire to put the experience of slavery completely behind her as though it never happened – is a little unusual, but it isn’t surprising.

Sadly, Sẻng feared that her return home after trafficking would be marred by the weight of expectations heaped upon her.

It doesn’t happen to everyone we rescue, but it is common. Neighbours, relatives, and even complete strangers feel they have the right to weigh in with their opinion.

“She should have been more careful.”

“Maybe she wanted to marry a Chinese man and then changed her mind.”

“Such a stupid girl.”

Some people will quickly blame her family: “They must have sold her.” This myth is one that media and even some international NGOs often perpetuate. It’s rarely true.

Still others, often with good intentions, will lay their own expectations on her: “She should speak up and be an advocate for survivors.”

“She should share her story to help other girls avoid being trafficked.”

Women and girls who survive the ordeal of human trafficking have so much to deal with. It’s common that their trafficker makes them feel responsible for what has happened; they may blame themselves for being the victim of a crime.

Having friends, family, and everybody else chime in to add to this burden is more than some can bear. Sẻng knew this, and just wanted to be free. Even though that would mean she was denied any help to recover from her ordeal.

Every year when International Women’s Day rolls around, a theme is chosen to highlight a particular issue. This year, that theme is “Break the Bias.”

Sẻng’s story reminds us of how important it is to listen to women and girls who survive the experience of human trafficking – and not to listen to the biases we’ve learned over the years.

The experience that each survivor has had, and the assistance that they need to recover, is very individual and very personal. No two people are the same.

Whatever story we once read online, or whatever anecdote we heard a friend share, shouldn’t shape our judgement of women who have been trafficked. We have no right to ask them to meet our expectations.

Sẻng made the decision that she believed was best for her. She has every right to do so; but she should never have had to fear as she did.

To be truly free from slavery, women and girls also need to be free from the biases and judgement that are so frequently cast upon them.