Anti-Trafficking Educational Curriculum

Last Year of Middle School

Lesson Plan #5

Greater Understanding/Free Discussion

(45 minutes)

Objectives:  Students will discuss other issues related to trafficking. Note: many of these discussion questions were created by victims of trafficking themselves when asked what sorts of education would have helped prevent them from being trafficked. They insisted on the importance of this being taught at the 8th grade level. Since many of them stopped school at that point, 9th grade will be too late.

I. Discussion Topic: Risk Taking (15 minutes)

A. Many trafficking victims took a risk at some point, a risk that made them vulnerable to a trafficker. On the other hand, most psychologists agree that taking risks is beneficial to make a person’s life fuller and more meaningful. Some risks are healthy and expand one’s life. Others are unhealthy and put one’s life in danger. What do you perceive as a healthy risk? An unhealthy one?

Examples of Healthy Risk:
  1. 1
    Going up to a foreigner and speaking to him/her in their language, which you have learned in school. (You may be afraid, but it’s important to practice a foreign language and overcome fears.)
  2. 2
    Auditioning for a school performance. (You may be afraid of failing or not doing well, but challenging yourself builds character).
Examples of Unhealthy Risk:
  1. 1
    Engaging in unprotected sex
  2. 2
    Using a drug
  3. 3
    Driving a car while intoxicated
  4. 4
    Accepting a marriage proposal after only a brief courtship

[These are just ideas to get students started thinking of their own examples. Tell students that life involves many risks. First, it’s important to determine if a risk is a healthy one or not; second, it’s important to make healthy choices rather than unhealthy ones. Write their responses on the board, and try to help them identify their examples of unhealthy risks as factors that may be related to trafficking].

B. Related Discussion Questions: (10 minutes)

1. How risky is engaging in just one act of intercourse? Would you categorize this as a healthy risk or unhealthy? Rank its riskiness: high, medium, or low? [ It’s actually a high unhealthy risk. The likelihood of pregnancy from a single act of intercourse is quite high: 50%. An additional factor is the risk of getting an STI (sexually transmitted infection).]

2. How risky is it for a girl to date an older boy? [Statistics show that this is the single most risky behavior an Albanian teenage girl can engage in. Dating a peer is low risk, dating a boy 3 -4 years older is medium risk, and dating a boy more than 4 years older is high risk.]

II. Discussion Topic: Relationships (10 minutes)

A. Many traffickers ensnare a victim through the means of a romantic relationship, even a false marriage proposal.

What is a healthy relationship and what is not? How do you detect the difference? 

[the above are just ideas to mention if students themselves did not]

Signs of Healthy Relationship:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
    Validating the other's feelings
  6. 6
    Supporting the other's dreams ambitions and endeavors
  7. 7
  8. 8
    Similar Interests
  9. 9
    Open Communication
  10. 10
  11. 11
    Ability to resolve conflicts using compromise in a way that leaves the other person’s esteem intact (and realizing that conflicts are inevitable in any relationship)
Signs of Unhealthy Relationship:
  1. 1
    Lack of any one of these items to the left
  2. 2
    “Buying” love or trust with gifts
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
    Criticism (attacking the person verbally as opposed to clearly expressing what is making one upset)
  7. 7
  8. 8
    Using sex to maintain power or control

[the above are just ideas to mention if students themselves did not]

III. Other Related Discussion Questions (10 minutes)

A. Optional:

1. What is independence? What does it mean and how do you build it?)

2. What is self-esteem and how can one improve it?)

3. How can one communicate with one’s family better?)

4. Who should you listen to when making important decisions about one’s life: one’s friends or one’s family? (In other words, what kind of guidance is best obtained from friends and which from parents?))

[Trafficked victims felt strongly that the answer depends on one’s family situation, how supportive one’s family members are, and how trustworthy one’s friends are.] 

5. In the case of rape, who is at fault? [the rapist] If a woman is raped, what are her rights?)

IV. Other Options:

A. Audiovisual Activity: Play tape of a real victim telling her story. Discuss afterwards:)

What is happening here? Why did this happen? Did it have to happen? Why did ____ do that? Did she have to? Did she want to? What were 3 turning points in her story? What other alternatives does she have? What were other things that could have happened? What would have happened if . . . . ? What would you have done? How would you have felt?)

(Teacher chooses B or C):

B. Optional Small Group Activity: Give students the opportunity to share in small groups personal knowledge they have of trafficking (for example, a friend, a relative, a member of the neighborhood, etc.). Such information is personal and does not need to be shared with the entire class.) 

C. Optional Homework Assignment: Encourage students to talk to their friends and family members openly about the prevention of trafficking. Do they know of anyone (for example, a friend, a relative, a member of the neighborhood, etc.) who might have become a victim? Open communication within families is a way to prevent trafficking. Ask students to share their stories in class the next day if they are willing.)

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