CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – Three girls who had been trafficked and routinely sold for sex were rescued late last week in an undercover operation. The girls shared similar stories: all came from extremely impoverished families. The youngest was only 14 years old. What had started out like so many other dark nights on the Cebu streets ended with a new beginning.
CHENNAI, INDIA – IJM helped rescue ten people from slavery in a sawmill last week – including six children, the youngest only 7 years old. Many of the children had been born there, and some of the adults said they had been trapped there for 18 years.
The children, ages 7 to 12, worked alongside the adults, cutting down trees for lumber, without power tools or heavy machinery. They worked ten hours a day, every single day of the week, and received about 50 cents a week – barely enough for food. There was no rest, no hope for escape.
EL ALTO, BOLIVIA – A Bolivian police officer was arrested late last month, securing justice for his stepdaughter Grecia* and bringing proof to the entire community that no one is above the law.
The case against the police officer had been ongoing since 2008, when he was first arrested for sexually abusing his 11-year-old stepdaughter, Grecia. She moved to a children's home, where she could receive the care she needed, and he was placed under house arrest.
KOLKATA, INDIA – Like many Bangladeshi girls, Shohela* loves dance, especially the traditional kinds of dance her culture is known for. So she was thrilled when she found out she could dance and earn much-needed money in India.
But as soon as Shohela arrived in Kolkata, she learned she would be required to do much more than dance. She had been trafficked to a brothel in a major red-light district. That same night, she was sold to the first man who would pay to rape her.