What’s on our radar in human trafficking

We just thought we’d share a few things that are on our radar (click on the links). Most are related to human trafficking or slavery and they are in no particular order.

10,000 children refugees have gone missing

Exploitation in electronics

(Get the full report here)

Recent change of focus for Destiny Rescue

We were so encouraged to see the latest reports from DR in late 2015. Rescuing girls is one thing, but having a best practice approach to rehabilitation and reintegration is another. Based on the numbers of rescues they were reporting in the beginning of 2015 we were concerned about how they were keeping up with the massive after-care process. We love that these guys are willing to go back to the drawing board and make sure they are complying with Governmental standards and helping these precious souls have long-term healing and change.

Shopping ethically

You will be horrified by some of the latest news stories you’ll read:

Most Aussies don’t know that in December Woolworths, Coles and Aldi were all buying prawns and seafood from a Thai company involved in the forced labour of men, women and children. If we knew our prawns caused someone else to be trapped in hell I’m sure we would all have a re-think about where we bought them.

This job in Margate with Save the Children

Maybe it will suit someone else 🙂 If you don’t know who Save the Children are check them out here.

Zika virus and travelling to Brazil

Obviously most things concerning Brazil are close to our hearts and this one is no exception. Another level of concern is that Tim and my Brother will be heading over to Rio in August this year to once again serve and observe all that God is doing in this country. We watch the spread and handling of this virus with deep concern and pray for the beautiful babies and families that are affected.

What is causing the microcephaly outbreak?

Olympics and Zika

Zika related abortion debate

That’s all for now…stay educated. Don’t shut yours eyes because it’s painful, but keep it balanced or we’ll all end up depressed.

Love Jess xxoo

Living Simply with my new favourite Blog by Jess

There are a few blogs that I follow. I try to be deliberate about what I’m viewing in a world where every one is trying to tell you something. I have tried to maintain a mix of fun and educational, but most of all, I keep it simple. This is my current list of blogs I faithfully subscribe to:

Wronging Rights

Un-Fancy

A Deliberate Life

Sweetest Menu

However, I now have a new one to add to my list. It was started by a friend of mine and is called Better Dressed. What is this new blog about?

Better dressed is an everyday girl’s guide to crafting a more ethical and sustainable personal style.  It documents my own pursuit of a better wardrobe: better for me, better for the environment and, most importantly, better for the people who make my clothes.

http://www.betterdressedblog.com

When I first saw this blog, everything inside of me went ‘Yes!”. Laura speaks about things that I am processing and working through myself. Thoughts about simplifying life, starting with what I wear and where I buy it from. In short, it’s about being a responsible global citizen.  I could go on about this blog, but I suggest you check it out for yourself.

Love Jess xxoo

A Major Update: Trust without borders

Since January 2014 until now, we have slept in 24 locations and had 14 flights (not including domestic transfers). Our family has travelled through five countries and stayed in 20 different cities/towns. During this time we’ve met many people who have inspired us and seen sights that have amazed us. Our experiences have changed us greatly and it certainly has been an adventure!

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Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Lyrics from Oceans, Hillsong

Well… It’s time to update you all on what’s been going on behind the scenes over the last two months and let you know what’s in store for the Greenwood clan.

Firstly, from us to you, THANKS. Thank to all the people who have prayed for us, followed our journey, given money, sent us emails and FaceBook messages and encouraged us when we needed it. Some of you are from Aus, some the USA, some Brazil and the list is growing. Without you, this journey would have been a lot harder. We honour you for taking time out of your busy lives and in-putting into ours.

Now for the update, we originally planned on spending a year in Thailand in Chiang Mai with a group called Destiny Rescue. However because of some visa complications and changes this is no longer possible at this time, there may be other options in the future. In knowing this we’ve been waiting to see what doors God would open.

So the Greenwoods flew into Thailand uncertain of what we would be doing in two weeks but feeling peaceful without knowing the next step. After a few days in Bangkok (spent mostly in hospital with Influenza A), we headed to Patong, Phuket for a missions conference. The conference was not only inspiring, but also provided us with connections all over Asia.

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A few things have helped us decide what the next step is:

1. Re-reading the ‘about us’ section of our blog and coming back to what we felt God was calling us to do.

2. The realisation that once we fall pregnant again, we’ll need to ‘settle’ somewhere and will probably be unable to move around as much. This is a unique season.

3. Going back over a few prophetic words that emphasise the importance of timing and that there was something we were meant to do for a specific time.

4. Our interest in human trafficking/prostitution and therefore community transformation.

With all this in mind… we have (scarily) decided that perhaps our travels aren’t over yet. We feel that we’re meant to continue to travel to a few more groups around Asia to serve and observe what they are doing. It’s all about following God’s direction for where to go and how long to stay.

The complexities of constant travel are not unfamiliar to us. There are the cultural changes, language barriers, unfamiliar environments and looking into visas and flights which is never easy. However, when we talk about this idea, we’re filled with excitement and peace. We can set our own pace and we know what our family can and can not handle more these days.

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There is an organisation called Doctors without Borders. DWB are doctors who provide medical care to people regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, because they believe that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries. We believe that God is asking us to trust him without borders. That no matter where He opens doors (regardless of gender, race, religion, creed of political affliction), we trust God and are called to serve people no matter what country they are in. We trust God without limitations, without borders.

So what have you been doing the last few weeks, I hear you ask? Great question. After Phuket we headed up to Chiang Mai with The River team where our friends, Rudy and Lara are based. We’ve been able to see a lot of what they do here, as well as rest, reflect and recover from various illnesses.

What’s next? On Monday we’ll catch a bus for 3 hours and have four days with Destiny Rescue in Chiang Rai before we head over to Vietnam to visit two groups there. After that, we honestly have no idea at this point. One step at a time.

So watch this space, the grand adventure continues. Perhaps we’ll be back in Australia in two months, or not until the end of next year. Only God knows. We will keep you up to date as best as we can. We’re taking a walk on the water with Jesus (Picture below by Dana Jensen) and that is pretty exciting!

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To live IS an awfully big adventure.

Love Tim, Jess & Amy xxoo

Vila Mimosa – Not a meat market by Tim

 * WARNING – THIS POST HAS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS THAT ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG OR SENSITIVE READERS *

Have you ever been to a meat market or super butcher? There are so many different butchers presenting their best selections of meat, the best cuts on display, it’s a wonder to the sensors. This is the only analogy that I can think to use to describe Vila Mimosa, a red-light district in Rio de Janeiro that draws around 4000 men each day. It’s in this place that Liberdade teams have been doing outreach over the past few weeks.

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Why would I post about this place and be so honest? Because of the women… the men… they need us. They need Jesus and we can’t just turn away from the dark places in society. The people of Vila Mimosa need Jesus.

Let me take you there…

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The outreach night started the same as the others (Night of the streets), only tonight, my team were going into Vila Mimosa. I prepared my heart and prayed with others that were about to step out into the different outreach locations. I was teamed with three other people, two girls and a guy, mighty warriors and locals of Rio. Vila Mimosa is just a street away from the prayer room, but even though it was an easy walk, as we entered the main street I felt sick in the stomach. I felt the oppression both physically and spiritually and I knew we were in for a big night.

The street was full of cars and men walking and trolling. There were many alleys coming off the street filled to overflowing. Each of the alleys were lined with bars that are also used as brothels. One bar owner is a witch and worships the black demon. Like many other places in Rio there were street venders, shops and people everywhere. It was dark, noisy and smelly.

Vila Mimosa was alive and we were there to connect with the women and invite them to a lunch at the prayer room.

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The two girls in our team were fearless. They would walk straight up to the women with big smiles and engage them quickly. After a moment of conversation they would give them a small gift and an invitation to the lunch. Even when there were men in close proximity to the ladies, these girls would step in unafraid. Myself and the other male in our team would stand close, praying and watching the men around to keep our girls safe.

We entered one of the dark and dingy alleys. The music coming from the bars was so loud that my head was pulsating. Everywhere we walked there was spilt beer, cigarettes, rubbish and murky water. Honestly, it was the most disgusting and oppressive place I’ve ever been in. The men seemed entranced and they stared at the women like they were pieces of meat. They could easily be hungry men at a meat market selecting their favourite cut.

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Most of the women wore very short and tight fitting clothing. Some wore only bikini g-strings and others were topless, which of course only captivated the men more. I was approached by one of woman who was trying to offer me her business. I yelled over the music that I spoke in english. She only spoke Portuguese so all she said was “2 Reis, 2 Reis” ($1 Australian) and gestured with two fingers. This was the cheapest service she could offer me. I gestured that I was there to pray and she didn’t understand. I said good-bye and moved on with our team.

There were many things that shocked me. Men moved in groups trolling the allies together. Apparently it was a group event and they would stir each other on as they watched the girls. There were also a number of teenage boys standing around in the darkness. How did this become a place where they causually hung out?

As I watched the men meander through the alley questions rolled through my mind. Who are you, why are you here, are you married? I was searching the Spirit for answers and discerning the atmosphere and the people’s stories. I was sensing many things and when I felt led, I would step out and engage someone in conversation. As far as we know this place has never been reached by ‘the church’ before and as I prayed I felt like light was going out into the darkness.

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A lot of the time I felt like I was in another world or in a bad dream. At one point I began to think about my daughter Amy, and for a moment, I felt normal again in this horrible place.

After a while as we walked through the allies all I could do was smile. I smiled at the women. I smiled at the men and I smiled at the atmosphere. There was so much love inside of me and it had to come out somehow. It came out of my smile.

One young man caught my attention. He had a backpack on that had the word ‘Jesus’ printed in bold. This intrigued me so I approached him. He didn’t speak english so in my limited portuguese I told him that I was from Australia and that Jesus loved him. He seemed to understand and also accept my words. I walked back to my team member and asked if he could go and talk with him and reaffirm what I was trying to say. It turns out that it was this young man’s birthday, hence the reason he was there. He explained to my team member that he was blessed by my words and he felt that it was a sign from God that an Australian would come all the way here to tell him Jesus loved him. I continued to pray for him after we moved on.

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I started saying hi to some of the men in Portuguese to see if they understood or if they were foreigners. One man didn’t look Brazilian so I greeted him. He was an Australian and we chatted briefly. I was so saddened that someone from my country would come to this place, a place mostly visited by locals. I saw this man two more times during the night and continued the conversation. I left him with the thought that God was thinking about him and I continued to pray for him too.

We passed two other foreign looking men who were walking into the street. Their body language showed their level of excitement and I could have easily mistaken them as two mates going to a sports game. They seemed as excited as Jess and I were when we went to see a World Cup game. ARGH! I wanted to run up to them and yell “Turn around, get out of here, do you know what you’re doing?!” Instead, I yelled it in my spirit and prayed for them as well.

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At the end of the night as we were walking out of the street, I turned around and yelled out “You will be closed down in the name of Jesus!” It felt good and I meant it.

When we got back to the prayer room our team of four prayed with a passion and fire to see God move in Vila Mimosa. I was so stirred and moved by my experience and I thank God that I was once again able to be involved. Ministry in Brazil to prostitutes and the men that pay for their services is complex. I know it will take more than one lunch invite to bring down the cultural, financial and spiritual strongholds that fuel this industry. However, change is happening one person at a time. With each invite, each smile, each prayer, each expression of love, I have faith and hope that the darkness in that street will cease.

Save Vila Mimosa Jesus. Amen.

VILA M

Isaiah 40:29 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Tim

A night on the streets by Tim

The Liberdade project in Brazil has been an incredible experience for our family. The project runs for the 31 days of the Fifa world cup and we are half way through. As soccer teams from all over the world have gathered to play in one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Liberdade teams reach out to the countless victims in Brazil’s notorious red-light districts and pray for an end to sex trafficking in the nation.

We have been privileged as a family to serve and observe what God is doing through this movement. I personally have been a part of the night outreach teams to the women and men of the streets and have been impacted in such a powerful way.

A night on the streets

I leave our apartment around 8pm and catch a taxi close to the prayer room.

Taxi

I walk across the bridge over a busy Rio road. I’m full of expectation as I pray and feel the Spirit stirring in me.PhotoGrid_1403896548939I walk under the train bridge…

Train bridge

…and past the bbqs and the bars.

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I have walked down this street many times. It’s full of bars, bikers and places that make me wonder. Who goes there? Where do they come from? God, how do you see this place?

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I arrive at the building where the prayer room is running on the fifth floor.  24/7 this place is full of worship and prayer and is an unassuming beacon of hope and light in a dark place.

Outside prayer room

I join others and spend time in worship.

Worship time

We take time to pray and prepare our hearts. I feel love and power stirring inside of me.

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Then we head out as a team. We are ready and open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do.

Team walks

As we pass streets of brothels my mind races and my emotions bubble. These places are so foreign to me, but the more I go out the more comfortable I feel in this environment. God is doing a work in me and I’m welcoming the change.

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As we see girls on the roadside, three or four of our team members approach. With love in our hearts we engage with each girl and share the love of Jesus with them by telling them how special they are to Him. In many of the conversations the girls shed tears. Someone cares enough to say hi, to pray with them and give them words from their heavenly Father. We invite them to a weekly lunch held at the prayer room, give them gifts and say good night.

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We continue to walk and find more ladies to talk to. Men in cars troll the roads staring at the women, consumed by their own lust. I am angered and saddened but I pray for them, I ask God to change their hearts too.

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I take in the surroundings on a street where many ladies and transvestites work. It’s dark, sad and lonely. “I can’t feel hope anymore” describes one of the women in conversation. My heart breaks. Of the 20 women and men we saw on the streets we had conversations with about 10 of them. There are more tears, more gifts, more invitations. We feel a real openness tonight and our prayer is that light would shine through us and meet them where they are at.

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After a couple of hours we return back to the prayer room. We debrief and pray and team members are brought to tears from the experience.

I make my way home and walk along the now empty street. Solemn, prayerful and changed.

Street homeI get back in a taxi and within 5 minutes I’m home. I wait and settle my thoughts before I go to bed.

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It was a good night.

The first week with the beautiful game by Jess

It’s been a big week since the World Cup started and so much has happened. I mean the Blues finally won a State of Origin after an 8 year drought. Anyway, to kick off the World Cup we went to stay with our billets in Vilar Dos Teles. Our billets consisted of two different house-holds that we were to travel between, each just as lovely and welcoming as the other.

Amy was sick, so although we were a little house-bound it worked out well. We managed to go for a walk on the street and met some of the local kids because they wanted to touch Amy’s blonde hair.  Amy’s hair always gets people’s attention. I often hear people say “Que Linda” (how beautiful) as they walk past. Unfortunately I still haven’t learned the word for ‘gentle’, so when it comes to kids, I try to say as sweetly as I can “Para por favor” (stop please) and just hope I don’t scare them away. I haven’t so far 🙂

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Tim and Fernando (our host) made a trip into Rio to pick up our World Cup tickets (that’s right) and it was then that we realized Rio was a 1-hour drive away or a 3-hour trip via public transport. Although these guys were willing to take us as much as they could, unfortunately for a whole month it wasn’t practical. Hence, I started the search for an affordable place to stay. Given that it’s the WORLD CUP and prices are tripled, I was concerned about our options. However, with favour on our side we found a great two-bedroom apartment close to the prayer room and Maracanã Stadium. We moved two days later.

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We took a couple of days to rest, as I had now joined Amy in the sick department, but on Monday we made our first trip to the prayer room. We weren’t able to stay long, but it was great to be there anyway. We will go there as much as possible either as a family or separately.

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The rest of our week consisted of hanging out with Frank from Australia… (sorry about the horrible picture quality)

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Amy’s 2nd Birthday…

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And all of us becoming seriously sick with a dreadful flu. The type of flu that makes you go through boxes of tissues and unable to open your eyes in the morning.

On a plus side, we have watched a lot of World Cup games and love to hear the Brazilians cheer and celebrate throughout the area we’re staying. I’m pleased to say that the Brazilians in our area seem to cheer for Australia when they play… it must be the similar colours. We have been asked a few times, why we play with yellow and green “Why do you use Brazilian colours?” they ask, “Yellow and green are not on your flag.” Fare enough questions really, but the most embarrassing thing is that I had to Google the answer. Apparently there are lots of reasons, so we just show them this…

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Well, after a big week what else have I learned? Firstly, Amy really loves balloons!

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Secondly, Brazilians really know how to celebrate and are far more passionate about Football than us laid back Aussies are about anything. It’s hard to explain if you aren’t here, but the noise of triumph and heartache comes from EVERY house at every moment of the game.

Thirdly, I’ve learned that although I had dreams of spending long days in the prayer room, with Amy and especially while we’re all sick, it’s just not possible – we can only do what we can do and that’s ok 🙂 Well, I keep telling myself it’s ok.

Lastly, I’ve learned that I want a bigger heart to love. When I look at my life and the state of my heart, I desire more. From everything I’ve done up until now and people I have known, I know that there is so much more. I know that God has created me with a certain capacity and I don’t have to be someone I’m not, but perhaps that’s it… I believe God is growing my heart to love more. I recently posted on FaceBook:

“God reminded me again today that I have one purpose, and that is to love. I could ask for no greater assignment.”

Like most lessons in God, it starts at home. This means learning to receive God’s love more and then loving Him back. It means loving Tim and Amy when I just want a moment to myself or I’m too sick to move. I think this one will take some time, but that’s ok. I have time to give.

Much (more) Love
Jess xxoo

Who is Lisa Kristine? by Jess

Who on earth is Lisa Kristine? For those of you who haven’t already Googled her, she is a humanitarian photographer.

www.lisakristine.com

Tim first saw a video on TED talks (LINK below) in which Lisa featured. It goes for about 20 minutes, but it’s worth a watch.

Pretty amazing don’t you think?

Somehow Tim worked out that Lisa’s gallery is in Sonoma, a town we where going to drive through whilst in California. So, of course we eagerly stopped by.

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My first thought when we walked in was that I didn’t have room in my suitcase to buy anything 😦 That’s the problem when you’re travelling around, there’s no extra room in the suitcase.

Her photos are breathtaking. I think it’s Lisa’s ability to capture human emotion that moved me so much. You can not look into the lives of the people she comes into contact with and look the other way. The global statistics on slavery are given faces and names. It is Lisa’s gift to us and I’m so thankful for it. May people NEVER become a number or a statistic.

So who is Lisa Kristine? From my perspective, she’s an amazing photographer who is using her talents to bring light to a serious world-wide problem in the best way she can. She is a modern-day abolitionist.

Love Jess xxoo

 

Counting the numbers by Jess

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This is it, the countdown is on. I can hardly believe that in 7 days I’ll be on a plane heading off overseas to work with organisations rescuing women and children from sex trafficking. Crazy stuff! Half of me is excited and the other is having a little freak out. As I look at our to-do-lists and the days left on the calendar, sometimes the math (which I was never very good at) concerns me. Will we get everything done in time? Perhaps… fingers crossed.

With so many thoughts in my head, I’m sure it would be easy for me to forget why we’re doing this. Fortunately, I don’t. I know that as I write this there are millions of people world-wide, trapped in horrible situations from no fault of their own. While I sit here with my laptop, they sit in dark rooms, forced to ‘service’ countless customers and do unspeakable acts. I can not forget about human trafficking and sex slavery.

Tim and I have wanted to write blog about what’s going on globally, but the difficulty is making statistics and facts seem relevant and interesting. I know that for many of you, the details of modern slavery or trafficking are unknown. Don’t worry, that was me a few months ago. I’ll try give you the basics (from a few reputable sources) and then some more specific details about the places we are going. Perhaps then, if you didn’t before, you will see why we are doing what we’re doing.

Here I go…

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.
– William Wilberforce

‘Slavery’ refers to the condition of treating another person as if they were property – something to be bought, sold, traded or even destroyed.

‘Human trafficking’ is another related concept, referring to the process through which people are brought, through deception, threats or coercion, into slavery, forced labour or other forms of severe exploitation.

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Some global info:

  • The recent 2013 Global Slavery Index puts global slavery numbers at 29.8 million – more than Australia’s population of 23.4 million
  • 27% of all victims detected globally are children. Of every three child victims, two are girls and one is a boy. (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 2012)
  • Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation accounts for 58% of all trafficking cases detected globally (UNODC, 2012)
  • 98% of all victims of sexual slavery/sex trafficking worldwide are women and girls (International Labor Organization, 2012)

It’s horrifying and absurd to think that there are currently more slaves on earth than at any other time in human history. But when that massive number overwhelms your heart, take a step back and consider that each one of them has a face and a name. While it may be impossible for any one of us to reach and rescue every one of them, each one of us can certainly make a difference in one precious life.
– Louie Giglio

Brazil Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, By US Department of State:

  • Child sex tourism remains a serious problem, particularly in resort and coastal areas in Brazil’s northeast. Child sex tourist typically arrive from Europe and, to a lesser extend, the United States.
  • The Government of Brazil does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
  • In 2012, the Government operated anti-trafficking offices in 16 states, but did not fund specialized services for victims of sex trafficking
  • The government took public measures to reduce demand for commercial sexual exploitation of children by continuing to raise awareness during the Carnival season.
  • Despite the significant number of child sex tourists visiting Brazil, there were no public reports of prosecutions or convictions for child sex tourism in 2012.
  • Brazil is a signatory of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (United Nations – Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children).

If there were no demand for commercial sex, sex trafficking would not exist in the form it does today. This reality underscores the need for continued strong efforts to enact policies and promote cultural norms that disallow paying for sex.
– Trafficking in Persons Report June 2013, U.S. State Department

Thailand Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, By US Department of State:

  • Thailand is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.
  • In 2012, children were exploited in the sex trade using false identification in karaoke or massage parlors.
  • Sex trafficking generally involves women and girls as victims. Sex tourism continues to be a problem in Thailand, and this demand likely fuels trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
  • The Government of Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has not shown sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking compared to the previous year.
  • In 2012, corruption remained widespread among Thai law enforcement personnel, creating an enabling environment for human trafficking to prosper. There were credible reports that corrupt officials protected brothels, other commercial sex venues from raids and inspections, colluded with traffickers, used information from victim testimony to weaken cases, and engaged in commercial sex acts with child trafficking victims.
  • Thailand is NOT a signatory of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol

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If everyone will just do something, we will change the world.
– Mary Frances Bowley

These are the basic facts and numbers of modern slavery in the world today, so believe me when I say this is just scratching the surface. There is so much I don’t know; I am consciously incompetent. However, I know that doing nothing is not an option for Tim and me. We must do something and our ‘something’ just happens to involve travel and hands on engagement. So yes, I’m counting down the days until we leave and dealing with all the emotions that come with saying goodbye to family, friends and country, but I’m also counting the numbers of people who need to be set free. If I can be involved in just one rescue, I will be satisfied… maybe… probably not.

Love Jess xxoo

Resources

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime – Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2013 http://www.unodc.org/documents/Global_Report_on_TIP.pdf

International Labor Organisation – Global Child Labor tends 2008-2012 http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewProduct.do;jsessionid=5885ca73218eb71626d7da341392b719b15d4ba1386bddda2eb6042cd72ca0e8.e3aTbhuLbNmSe34MchaRah8Tah90?productId=23015

US Department of State – Trafficking in Persons Report 2013  http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/

One slave is too many by Jess

The Walk Free Foundation estimates there are 3000 slaves in Australia. This might seem small compared to the 30 million slaves world-wide, but honestly, I think one slave is one slave too many. As I recently investigated the state of slavery in my own nation, I read an article by the Sunday Morning Herald that highlighted this hidden tragedy within Australia’s boarders. Yet, another article renewed my hope that change is happening all around us and lives are being restored in countries all across the earth, including my own. There will always be those who fight injustice whether it’s considered a small or big problem.

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I am reminded of this little story below and I think of ‘the one’ who is still waiting to experience a ‘huge difference’…

The Boy and the Starfish

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.

The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,”I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. “But”, said the man, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,

“I made a huge difference to that one!”

~Author Unknown~

I too can do something for at least one. Maybe that’s volunteering my time, donating to a cause, supporting those who are on the ‘front lines’ or making other people aware of what’s going on. I have hope in my heart despite the odds that we will all eventually believe that one slave is too many.

Love Jess xxoo