The Malouf Foundation, the non-profit arm of Malouf, launched the OnWatch campaign on July 29 at its bi-annual Forging Freedom event at the Las Vegas Market. The campaign is designed to train industry peers and members of the public to recognize the signs of child sex trafficking—and educate individuals on how to respond.
“The first time someone learns that more than 2 million children live as sex slaves worldwide they are shocked; it’s unimaginable,” said Malouf CEO Sam Malouf. “It’s crucial for people today to know the signs of commercial sex trafficking because it happens all around us. That’s why we created our OnWatch campaign. When you learn the signs of child sex trafficking, you become empowered to save a life.”
Partnering with Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), the Malouf Foundation produced a series of training videos. The training materials teach visitors to identify the physical, emotional and behavioral signs of trafficking.
Other videos explain how perpetrators groom and lure victims into the sex trafficking cycle, so parents and concerned adults can help prevent at-risk youth from being exploited. Visitors also discover when and how to help children already trapped in trafficking situations.
“Once we identify victims of trafficking, we can get involved. There can be an intervention, a rescue, a rehabilitation. But it requires millions of people to be trained, to be prepared—so that when they see someone, they can help and engage,” said O.U.R. CEO Tim Ballard.
After completing the training videos, visitors are invited to sign the pledge to spread awareness. Finally, individuals and companies can commit to a monthly donation to assist the Malouf Foundation in raising funds to fight child sex trafficking and support survivors. Donors receive the OnWatch kit to help promote the campaign.
Furniture and bedding industry members are uniquely situated to be powerful partners in identifying signs of child sex trafficking—both at home and on the road. Forging Freedom attendees can now take the OnWatch training back to their stores and sales teams. Also, considering its enormous force of delivery drivers who make home deliveries, having each person trained to see the red flags associated with trafficking will make an unprecedented impact.
Diana Hoyt, an interior stylist at Deep Water Home in Chelan, Wash., attended the Forging Freedom event. “Take the training offered by the Malouf Foundation. Be a person who is On Watch because what you see and what you do matters—especially to the children who are not able to speak for themselves. I'm grateful I did, and I hope others will,” she shared.
About Malouf: Known for innovation, quality, and service, Malouf produces a wide range of bedding accessories from pillows and sheets to mattress protectors and toppers. Founded in 2003 and based out of Logan, Utah, Malouf offers premium sleep solutions in a range of price points to thousands of stores across the U.S.