We love freedom! And so do our anti-trafficking partners around the world. We just received an amazing report from The Exodus Road, an organization working onsite in Southeast Asia, about an operation that resulted in eight rescues. Read on for more.
Svay Rieng, Cambodia. A swat team raid followed the recent investigation of a Cambodian brothel, resulting in the rescue of eight victims and the arrests of four suspects. All of the victims are now in restorative care, and the suspected traffickers are awaiting trial.
Thanks to donations from Messenger International partners, a grant from The Exodus Road was given to Agape International Missions (AIM), a counter-trafficking organization with an established presence in Cambodia. AIM used the grant to purchase investigative gear and effectively gather evidence in the brothel case. Working in conjunction with anti-trafficking police, the AIM team coordinated the raid to rescue the eight victims.
While much of the information about the operation is secure, we can tell you that the survivors—five women and three girls—were forced to see approximately five to six customers every night. There is a long process of recovery ahead, but we are grateful that these women are receiving quality, Christ-centered, holistic care.
We are able to partner with organizations like these because you pray and give. Thank you! Because of you, eight women will sleep safety tonight and dream of better, brighter futures.
If those in authority are unable or unwilling to protect the vulnerable, it is difficult to achieve justice. This could not be more evident than in the fight against human trafficking in developing countries. Often the police and government agencies in these countries do not understand the laws regarding modern slavery, which makes effective enforcement almost impossible. This is why we believe in supporting the strategic training of those in authority—especially government leaders and law enforcement officers.
A few weeks ago, we partnered with an organization in Southeast Asia to help fund an anti-trafficking training for seventy-five police officers. Attendees learned about their nation’s trafficking laws and were encouraged by their superiors to enforce them. A panel of experts explained how officers can work with the NGO community, and a well-known local police lieutenant shared about investigative techniques and successful cases he’s worked.
One of the speakers encouraged the officers: “You have the power in this community. And it is your duty, as the people with the power, to use that power to protect the vulnerable. Ask yourself, ‘What if this were my child? My niece? My little brother?’ Let that question be a guide to how you use your power.”
In addition to providing education, the conference also helped establish relationships between the local social welfare department, members of the NGO community, and the police—a form of collaboration that is critical to the execution of raids, arrests, and rescues.
Thank you to all those whose consistent giving helps us fight human trafficking in this region!
Social media is an amazing tool, but in the wrong hands, it can be used to draw vulnerable users into devastating situations. Such was the case in a recent rescue operation in Southeast Asia.
One of our anti-trafficking field partners received a call from several women who wanted help escaping a brothel in a neighboring country. The women had originally responded to a job listing on Facebook. According to the post, the opening was for a well-paying waitressing position in a quality restaurant.
Eager to find employment, the women jumped at the chance to take the job. They said goodbye to their families and handed their passports over to their new employers. But after they reached their new home country, they found themselves trapped in a job they never signed up for. What had been represented as waitressing at a restaurant was actually prostituting in a brothel.
Thankfully, the women fought back. They made their way to their national embassy and the wheels of rescue began to turn. Our on-site partners were called in to help, and we were able to fund the secure protection and legal and advocacy services the women needed.
The women returned to their home countries and underwent a victim testimony process. By listening to their stories, our field partners gathered critical intelligence about the trafficking ring that had exploited them. They learned about the way the traffickers use social media to draw young women into captivity. Already three more victims of this same network have come forward. The case is still open, and the trafficking ring is under active investigation.
Thanks to the support of our partners, six women are free and safely back in their home countries today. A trafficking ring, responsible for entrapping women on a monthly basis, is in the crosshairs of an investigative team.
These can seem like small efforts when compared to the scope of modern-day slavery. But for these six women, small efforts meant everything. Thank you for helping us rescue, one life at a time!