Recently, our monitoring team in Tanzania intercepted 19 young boys who had been trafficked into forced labor and then evicted from their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The boys were found at a transit station trying to find a way to return home. With no money for transportation or food, they were sleeping outside on the floor of the bus stop.
Our anti-trafficking team located them, and over a period of almost two weeks, they cared for the young boys by bringing them to a nearby shelter and ensuring they had enough food to eat. In addition, our staff was able to coordinate with the government in order to contact the boys’ families. Once it was determined it was safe for them to return, our team arranged for their travel home.
It’s often difficult for many of us to comprehend how human trafficking happens, especially involving young children. The sobering reality is that billions of the world's poor rely on daily wages to survive. Around 80% of the workforce in Asia and Africa work in the "informal economy," searching daily for various ways to make money in order to provide food for themselves and their families.
Traffickers prey on this desperation by offering false job opportunities, deceiving parents to entrust their children to them with the “promise” of an education and a brighter future, and even promising love and the false assurance of marriage. Unfortunately, trafficking victims don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late, and then they have no way of escape.
Now, more than ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be ready to stand against a surge in trafficking that is likely to take place. The need and desperation is great, opening up the door for many to be lured into slavery.
To date, we've prevented over 21,000 people from being potentially trafficked—over 110 last month, even amid COVID-19 shutdowns.
Data is important to our organization, and we track a lot of numbers in order to measure the effectiveness of our work. However, we must remember that each number represents a beautiful life we are fighting for. They are individuals with unique and specific names, dreams, fears, skills, favorite colors, hopes, hobbies, and challenges. They are just like you, and they are just like me; the only difference is they were born in the midst of extremely different circumstances.
Just as we are familiar with all of those personal intricacies of our immediate family members, we are passionate about honoring the value of those most marginalized in the world, most forgotten, and most oppressed. We fight for justice because they are made in the image of God and are worthy of freedom, love, and belonging.
Our Project Beautiful community is critical, now more than ever, in funding our fight against human trafficking. Learn how you can get involved here and start impacting lives today!
*All content, data, and statistics current at the date and time of publishing.