Promoting awareness of human trafficking through primary and secondary connections

Jun 6, 2024

Jannapha Hubeny and Kennon Coe, primary educators at Atlanta International School (AIS), are dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking both within their school community and on a global scale. They serve as key facilitators of the school's organisation, Atlanta International School Against Human Trafficking (AISAHT), working tirelessly to educate students and combat this critical issue.

Promoting awareness of human trafficking through primary and secondary connections

Jun 6, 2024 | DEIJ, ISL Magazine, Teaching & learning

By Jannapha Hubeny and Kennon Coe

Human trafficking is the illegal and unethical act of exploiting individuals for various purposes through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. It involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purpose of exploiting them. In our ever-evolving world, fostering awareness about critical issues such as human trafficking is essential. As educators and mentors, we hold the responsibility of guiding our young learners toward becoming compassionate and informed global citizens.

Atlanta International School Against Human Trafficking (AISAHT) is an organization in our secondary school that began 14 years ago, and we are key players in this mission. We are Jannapha Hubeny and Kennon Coe, primary educators at Atlanta International School (AIS). As facilitators within AISAHT, we bridge the gap between primary (kindergarten – grade 5) and secondary (grades 6-12) students to support their efforts in raising awareness about human trafficking throughout our school and globally.

Supporting AISAHT

Due to the engagement and interest of a group of grade 6 students, a middle school AISAHT group was created. This division resulted in two groups: the middle school group took the lead in educating primary students, while the high school group was tasked with educating the entire secondary school. Hence, our roles in supporting these groups vary slightly. Overall, we support the student leadership teams by helping to make their ideas become a reality. This involves brainstorming sessions, helping student leaders to delegate tasks, or simply offering words of encouragement. Every week we meet with both groups to discuss what events may be coming up and help students plan and organize these events.

“Connecting primary and secondary students not only educates but also empowers, fostering a ripple effect of awareness.”

Bridging Primary and Secondary Schools

At our international school, bridging primary and secondary students is crucial in combating human trafficking. Secondary students lead child-friendly activities for kindergarten through 5th, educating younger peers on human trafficking and nurturing leadership. This fosters a sense of responsibility and solidarity, inspiring primary students to engage and spread awareness beyond school walls. AISAHT has organized various student-driven activities such as (but not limited to):

  • #MyFreedomDay
  • Dressember
  • Youth Summit
  • Rotary Club Presentation
  • Tabling at various 5k runs and sport events

Connecting primary and secondary students not only educates but also empowers, fostering a ripple effect of awareness. By participating in joint activities, secondary students gain leadership skills such as event planning and public speaking, becoming agents of change in their communities.

My Freedom Day

Every year AIS takes part in a global event known as #MyFreedomDay. On March 14th, 2024, schools around the world came together to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. It is a day of action where students, educators, and communities worldwide come together to shine a light on the issue and pledge to take a stand against human exploitation. In addition, it is also a day where students come together to celebrate their freedoms and human rights, particularly the UN Rights of a Child.

Our Impact on Primary Students

So, what did we do, you ask? What did the middle school AISAHT group do for primary students and how did it all come together? This year the middle school group put a lot of time and effort into creating differentiated lessons and activities to help primary students understand their rights as children, according to the UN Rights of the Child. Overall, every primary student participated in an activity called “Little Hands”, where they placed a handprint on a large mural to show their solidarity in ending child labour around the world. Specifically, by grade level, kindergarten to grade 1 played a hula hoop game in which they identified their individual rights. In another session, grades 2 & 3 were grouped up according to these rights and were given a presentation. Lastly, for grades 4 & 5, the middle school group made their own film debunking human trafficking myths and showed it to these students. After the film was shown, students had the opportunity to ask questions in a Q&A session, followed by a time of reflection on what they had learned. Every activity was solely led by middle school students in AISAHT, and their effort and hard work were supported through our roles as stated above.

My freedom day kindergarten students

Photo: #MFD AISAHT Students Teaching KG

Uniting primary and secondary students for this cause creates a synergistic move of awareness. When primary students learn about human trafficking from their older peers, they’re more likely to discuss it with their friends and families, spreading awareness beyond the walls of our school. This grassroots approach is essential in tackling such a pervasive and complex issue. Furthermore, organizing joint activities allows secondary students to develop valuable leadership and organizational skills. They take on roles such as event planning, public speaking, and peer mentoring, which not only enrich their educational experience but also equip them with tools to become changemakers in their communities.

my freedom day primary students lesson

Photo: #MFD AISAHT teaching G2

Fostering a lasting effect

Our efforts have been instrumental in connecting primary and secondary school students to combat human trafficking. Through our dedication, AISAHT has been able to educate and engage primary students on the issue, fostering a lasting effect of awareness and solidarity within our school community. Our support in creating differentiated lessons, engaging activities, and focusing on the UN Rights of the Child has empowered students of all ages to take a stand against exploitation and promote human rights. This guidance also enables secondary students to develop leadership and advocacy skills, enriching their educational experience and equipping them with tools to become risk-takers. As students share their knowledge with friends and families, the fight against human trafficking gains momentum, highlighting the vital role we play in our school’s mission to tackle this complex global issue.


Janna and Ken

Jannapha and Kennon are educators at Atlanta International School and this article was written in conjunction with Veronica McDaniel, AISAHT Supervisor and founder of Freest. You can connect with Veronica directly via email and follow the development of the project on Instagram.


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This article was published in International School Leader Magazine

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