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Anti-Trafficking Real Stories from the Field

Breaking: 13-Year-Old Girl Lured Via TikTok—Suspect Arrested!

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By The Love Justice Team on February 27, 2024
girl tapping tiktok app on phone

Last month, our teams intercepted 1,446 individuals to prevent them from being trafficked! These are some of their recent stories from the field.


South Asia: Team Intercepts 13-Year-Old Girl Lured via TikTok––Two Suspects Arrested!

Thirteen-year-old Sunmaya* had been missing from her home for nearly a month when our team intercepted her. The suspect, Okesh,* promised to marry her shortly after they met each other on TikTok. Okesh and another suspect named Mangali* met up with Sunmaya and took her into the city, where they handed her over to a man named Sankar.* Sankar kept Sunmaya in hiding and made a video of her saying that she was safe and telling her family not to worry about her. He then created a Facebook account for her and posted the video on it. 

Several days later, Okesh returned to the city, moved Sunmaya to a new location, and raped her. Weeks later, he attempted to cross the border with her when our staff stopped them and intercepted Sunmaya. They provided her with counseling about human trafficking and reunited her with her family, then filed a human trafficking case against the suspects. Police arrested two of the suspects immediately.

South Africa: Team Uncovers Red Flags and Redirects Woman from Suspicious Job 

LJI staff hands out freedom project pamphlet

A South African woman recently received a Freedom Project pamphlet from our monitors. Later, she reached out to ask for help verifying the legitimacy of a job she was considering. As an unemployed mother of two, she told our monitors that she was in desperate need of a job to help her husband with their household expenses. 

Our team investigated the job offer and uncovered significant red flags. The woman had been invited to an interview, but the company name was not mentioned. The invitation letter looked unprofessional, and the suspected trafficker had included the salary on the interview letter, which is a known trick that traffickers often use to ensure that applicants show up at the given location. Furthermore, the address for the interview indicated a known hotspot for slavery and exploitation. Based on all of these red flags, they intercepted the woman, provided her with counseling about human trafficking and labor exploitation, and advised her to seek other employment. 

Liberia: Young Man Traveling for Promised Education, Intercepted Before Exploitation!

person in liberia-2

Our staff intercepted an unemployed 22-year-old man traveling from Sierra Leone to Liberia for a promised education opportunity. He did not have sufficient resources to live or return home. He mentioned that someone who was not related to him had paid for his travel expenses, which is an indication of potential exploitation. Furthermore, he shared that his family was unaware of his plans and he was unable to speak the local language of his destination. Based on all of these red flags, our staff determined that the young man was at high risk of being trafficked or exploited and intercepted him to keep him safe. 



Argentina: Monitors Intercept Vulnerable 18-Year-Old Traveling to Bolivia for Promised Work 

AI image of girl in argentina

Our team found an 18-year-old girl sitting on the floor of a transit station. She seemed scared and looked like she was from a rural area, so our staff approached her to ask a few questions. She was traveling to Bolivia for a job harvesting crops in a field and caring for animals. The job offer had been made through social networks. 

The young woman did not have the address for her future place of employment and was unable to provide any specific information about the job. In addition to a promised salary that was higher than normal, the alleged employer had also offered to provide the girl with food and lodging. After uncovering these red flags, our team was concerned for her safety. They tried to contact the employer but were unsuccessful. 

The monitors spent time counseling the young woman about the dangers of human trafficking and labor exploitation, offering help, support, and security. They contacted her sister, informing her of the situation, and then offered to arrange the young girl’s transportation home. She hadn’t eaten in several days, so they provided her with food and then purchased a return ticket to her province. In a later follow-up call, they learned that the girl was safe and healthy at home with her family. They intend to continue to follow up with her and monitor her well-being. 

Burkina Faso: Teenager Being Recruited for Mining Work in Ivory Coast, Intercepted! 

bus in burkina faso-1

Our staff intercepted a 16-year-old boy who was preparing to travel to the Ivory Coast. A man he barely knew had recruited him for employment. This suspected trafficker had promised to arrange a job for him working on a traditional mining site and earning a monthly salary of 150,000 CFA ($250 USD). Upon further investigation, our team determined that the job offer was not legitimate. They intercepted the teenager, provided him with education about human trafficking, and facilitated his transportation home. 


Rwanda: Monitors Intercept 12-Year-Old Girl Lured with Job Offer; Suspect Arrested!

rwanda street

Vanessa*, a 12-year-old girl, was recently intercepted by our team. When they first noticed her, she was walking with a 30-year-old man named Claudius*. Our monitors approached the man and asked where he was taking the girl. Claudius immediately started lying, but Vanessa quickly said he was taking her for domestic work without her family’s knowledge. 

Our monitors contacted Vanessa’s parents who were unaware that she had traveled to Kigali for domestic work. They asked our team to keep their daughter safe. Our monitors taught Vanessa about human trafficking and then arranged her transportation home. Meanwhile, the police arrested Claudius, and the case was reported to the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB). During a follow-up call, Vanessa’s family confirmed that she was safe, and they thanked our staff for their assistance. 



Our monitors prevented each of these people from continuing their journey to a potentially dangerous human trafficking situation. This work is only possible with the help of our generous donor-heroes! It only costs us $200 to help keep one person free from slavery—join us by giving today.



*All data and statistics current at the date and time of publishing. Names changed and some specific locations excluded for privacy and security purposes. Images are representative and do not picture actual victims. Argentina image is AI generated. 

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