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Anti-Trafficking Real Stories from the Field

Breaking: 17-Year-Old Girl Handed Over to Smugglers—Intercepted!

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By The Love Justice Team on June 11, 2024
Girl intercepted in the forest in Mozambique

Last month, our teams around the world intercepted 1,688 individuals to prevent them from being trafficked! These are some of their stories:

Mozambique: 17-Year-Old Girl Handed Over to Smugglers—Intercepted!

Linda*, a 17-year-old girl from a remote village, met Adia* while at a local market selling fruit. Adia offered her a job working at a hair salon in South Africa, with a monthly salary of R3,000 ($165 USD)—an amount that seemed too good to be true. Tempted by the promise of a better life, Linda blindly trusted Adia. She left home without any ID, without informing her family, and without a means of communication to protect herself.

Adia generously offered to pay for Linda’s transportation expenses, and together, they boarded a bus headed toward the border. However, at the border, police turned them away for their lack of official travel documents. Adia tried to bribe the police, but they refused.

Linda on the edge of the forest

Instead, Adia handed Linda over to a group of strange men, promising that they would help her cross the border through the dense forest. Terrified, Linda felt like she had no other option but to follow the men into the forest.

Thankfully, our team was monitoring the border region. They intercepted Linda and spent time counseling her, explaining the dangers of human trafficking and offering to help.

After talking with our team, Linda began to understand the gravity of the situation. She realized that her pursuit of a better life had put her in real danger and that the men accompanying her were illegal smugglers. Linda also realized that the job she had been promised was a hoax, designed to lure her away from the safety of her home. 

Unfortunately, Linda was unable to provide enough specific details about Adia to contact the authorities and pursue her arrest. Our staff contacted Linda’s grandmother to inform her of the situation. She was relieved to learn that her granddaughter was safe, and she thanked our team for their assistance. Our monitors fed Linda, shared the gospel with her, and arranged her transportation home.


Stop human trafficking. Bus station in Africa.Burundi: Minor Boy Recruited for Work in the DRC, Intercepted at Transit Station

Our team intercepted a minor boy who had been recruited to work in the DRC. When they first noticed him, he was wandering around a busy transit station, trying to find the right bus to board. Due to his extreme vulnerability and young age, our staff immediately intercepted him to keep him safe. They provided him with counseling about human trafficking and child labor, warning him of the dangers he could face in a foreign country. After talking with our staff, the boy agreed to return to the safety of his home. 


South Asia: Team Uncovers Lies and Intercepts 14-Year-Old Girl Eloping with Facebook Boyfriend

Our team noticed Parul*, a 14-year-old girl in the company of a 19-year-old boy named Aman*. The young girl seemed nervous and confused, so our monitors approached the couple for questioning. They claimed to be recently married and on their way to a cousin's wedding.

Since the girl was a minor, our staff thought they might be lying about their marital status. Furthermore, Aman’s language was unfamiliar, which increased our staff’s suspicions about the situation. Our monitors asked the couple to provide proof of their marriage, but they were unable to do so. Concerned for Parul’s safety, our team separated them for individual interviews and learned that Aman had moved there from a neighboring country six months ago. 

asia girl waiting for bus

According to Parul’s statement, she met Aman on Facebook and after three months of messaging, they fell in love. She said that her father ordered them to stop contacting each other, but they continued and he found out. According to Aman, Parul’s father realized that they were not going to obey him, so he invited Aman to come to their village to work. He told Aman that when Parul was old enough to get married, he would allow her to marry him. 

To verify their statements, our team asked Parul to give them her parents' phone numbers. At first she refused, but after some time, she reluctantly gave them her father's phone number. When our team told him about Parul and Aman’s statements, he was shocked and said that everything they had told our team was false. He said that Parul had been missing from home for several days and he and his wife had lodged a missing person’s complaint at their local police station. He was relieved to know that she was safe, and he asked our team to take her to the local police station for further assistance.

The team followed his instructions and took Parul to the nearest police station. While there, they provided her with thorough counseling about human trafficking. During this time, they also checked Aman’s passport and discovered that he was illegally living in the country as his visa had expired. Upon further investigation, our team learned that Aman was planning to cross the border back into his home country with Parul. Aman was taken into police custody, and Parul was reunited with her family. Our team intends to follow up on this case as it proceeds. 


South Africa: Man Pursuing Job on Facebook, Redirected After Team Uncovers Red Flags

A 24-year-old Zimbabwean man reached out to our staff after being referred by a friend who had previously been helped by Love Justice. During a phone call, he told our team that he was unemployed and trying to establish a career as a content creator. He mentioned that he had studied hospitality and would love to get a job in that field.

african man sitting in grass

He shared that he had found a job advertised on Facebook for bartenders, waiters, chefs, etc. The post indicated that the company was planning to launch a new club in several different cities within the month and was seeking employees. 

Our team investigated the situation and uncovered multiple red flags pointing to potential exploitation. They eventually determined that the business was not legally registered; in fact, they were unable to find any tangible evidence proving that the company even existed. Furthermore, during the interview process, the recruiter had asked for a picture, which could be his way of identifying his victims. 

Our staff advised the young man to stop pursuing the job. They warned him of the possibility that the suspected trafficker might be opening a club that is not registered and could be involved in illegal activities. The young man listened to their advice and decided to find other employment. 


Kenya: Ugandan Minor Traveling for Work, Intercepted After Team Uncovers Red Flags

help_end_human_trafficking_girl_africa_love_justice_international_freedom

Mariami*, a 17-year-old Ugandan girl, was recruited by an agent to work in Nairobi, with a promised salary of kshs 6,000 ($45 USD). Despite her efforts to travel to Nairobi on her own, Mariami faced a language barrier as she was unable to speak either Swahili or English. Fortunately, a trusted informant discovered her at a bus station and contacted our staff for assistance. 

With the help of a translator, our monitors obtained the phone number of the alleged employer that Mariami would be working for in Nairobi. When contacted, the female employer admitted to having an agent in Uganda who recruits young girls for her. She instructed our staff to give Mariami her phone number and then arrange her transportation to a small town just outside Nairobi. 

When our team mentioned that Mariami was headed to the police station for further investigation, the alleged employer immediately changed her story and denied knowing the young girl. Based on this, our monitors concluded that Mariami was headed into potential exploitation. They intercepted her and took her to the police station for further assistance and repatriation.


Lesotho: Team Discovers Promised Job Is Unavailable and Intercepts Woman at Border!

One of our monitors intercepted a 32-year-old woman at Maseru Bridge. An immigration official noticed her first and then referred her to our team for an interview. Based on her appearance and clothing, it was evident that she was extremely poor, which increased her vulnerability to exploitation. 

how_we_fight_human_trafficking_africa_woman

During questioning, the woman mentioned that she was traveling to South Africa for a promised job working as a domestic helper. She only had enough money to get there, but then would not have any resources to sustain herself or return home. She continued to tell the monitor that one of her distant relatives had arranged the job for her because she was struggling to make ends meet. She completely trusted her relative and accepted the offer, believing she was pursuing a legitimate opportunity. It was her first time traveling abroad, but she was really excited about the promised work. 

In an attempt to verify the authenticity of the job offer, the monitor called the alleged employer and was shocked by her response. She blatantly told our monitor that she no longer needed the woman’s services, stating that she had told the distant relative a while ago that she had found someone else to do the work. Unfortunately, the relative had failed to update the woman about the change of plans. 

Due to the woman’s extreme vulnerability and lack of finances, our staff intercepted her to prevent any exploitation. They counseled her about human trafficking and then helped her return home. 


 

Because of your generosity and support, these are stories of freedom and not exploitation. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the difference you are making in this fight against injustice! 

Join Project Beautiful, our monthly giving community, to ensure more stories of freedom each and every month.

 


*All data and statistics current at the date and time of publishing. Names changed, and some specific locations excluded for privacy and security purposes. Pictures are representative and do not feature actual victims.

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