Since 2010, Men Against the Trafficking of Others (MATTOO) has been educating men and boys about the reality of trafficking all around them. So much so, that the average guy who used to sit passively by is now incapable of sitting silent. The guys who dabbled in what they thought was innocent curiosity are now appalled and have not only stopped their actions, but are also telling those around them to stop. Now, the men who knowingly or unknowingly used trafficked victims are so abhorred by the results of what they thought were harmless actions that they are now freeing other men from the same myths.
We have a simple yet profound saying in MATTOO: “If there were no buyers, there would be no sellers. And if there were no sellers, there would be no victims.”
It really is that simple – No buyers, no victims.
It’s a common belief that sex trafficking would end if every country were to:
• Rescue every trafficked victim
• Imprison every trafficker
• Arrest every “john” (the men who use trafficked victims)
Yet, even if all these things happened, human sex trafficking would begin again because there would still be a demand. When there is a demand, a supply will be found.
This simple phrase bears repeating: “No buyers, no victims.”
The goal of MATTOO is to change the hearts of men and boys in order to eliminate the demand for sex trafficking. Our task is formidable; however, we are confident a difference will be made. As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”