Thursday, March 15, 2012

Church...Special Operations and Human Trafficking

                                  Good Morning - for those of you that are not following us on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, we have been engaged in several operations outside of Burma that address human trafficking and the sex industry. I want to set the stage for you on what has transpired in the last 96 hours...and what we are doing to fight this emerging and dangerous threat. In Europe, the United States and Asia….the figures are overwhelming...the flesh trade generates an estimated $32 billion dollars annually making human trafficking the fastest-growing criminal activity in the world today. It is also the most lucrative. According to a 2010 International Labor Office (ILO) report, just a single female held for sexual exploitation yields an average of $67,200 annually in Western Europe and North America. The United Nations estimates that between 800,000 and 4 million men, women and children are deceived, recruited, transported from their homes and sold into slavery around the world each year. Eighty percent are women; girls and young boys trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Of these, more than 300,000 women and children from Russia and Eastern Europe who are forced into prostitution each year. Western demand for Eastern European prostitute’s fuels today’s sex-slave industry. Currently, the market for Slavic woman and children in brothels and in pornography in "developed" countries — particularly the EU and the U.S. — is the hottest compared to other parts of the world, and is drawing on an endless supply of impoverished and vulnerable women.
A multitude of recent studies try to explain why women get snared into the trade in flesh. Researchers point to poverty, chronic unemployment, domestic violence and drug addiction as the primary “push factors.” As we continue to work within this field, sadly, we realize there isn’t enough discussion of the real root of the problem — the men. Human trafficking is basically international sexual terrorism perpetrated against women and children on a mass scale by men. It is their demand for illicit or predatory sex that generates huge profits for the slavers and leaves behind the tortured minds and broken bodies of those women and children they violate. I have seen this firsthand in Asia (Burma/Thailand) but now we are addressing it throughout US and Europe.
Fast Forward…The Life On Point Group...Just a few weeks ago, I was contacted late one night and asked if I could assist…a young girl had been taken from her home in the former Soviet Union and was now working in Ireland…yes…I said…Ireland. She had been on the streets and was being abused and sold for sex. She was heavily abused; dependent on drugs and yet…smart enough to get a note to someone associated with the church…and the church contacted me…same group who just one year ago had spent time in the jungles in an effort to stem the tide of Asian women and children being shipped across the border to Thailand and beyond. I took the call and put into place mechanisms to ensure she received the medical care, finances and hope that soon she would be back home with her family…suffice to say that on 14 March 2012…we succeeded.
A  Holy Collaboration...Based on what we were able to accomplish…the “Father” stated it was a “collaboration...made in heaven”…and yet…the story does not end there. Europe and the US are ripe with stories of women and children being violently exploited.  After a trafficking journey that typically involves deception, rape, beatings, and constant threats, victims are often forced to live in confining and unsanitary conditions. Once formally put to work, human trafficking victims can be forced to service up to 100 customers a day. Malnutrition, forced sleep deprivation, as well as emotional and physical abuse become part of the day-to-day routine. 
This is what our victim endured before we were able to intervene. In addition to the abuse, forced abortions and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS are an ever looming probability. Life for a victim of sex trafficking is hell on earth! Some sobering facts for all of us to ponder...and ask why Life On Point is actively engaged in this arena:
       -        Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year 
       -        There are 1.50 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide
       -     Over 25 percent of sex trafficked victims are trafficked from Southern and Eastern Europe; many more emanate from Asia
       -        90% of victims trafficked into the European Union member states will end up in the sex industry in either Europe of the US
       -        Less than 2 percent of victims of trafficking are rescued, and only 1 in 100,000 persons  involved in trafficking are ever convicted      
       At the end of the day....The odds are against us...but still we will fight and press the issue...on behalf of those who can’t do this on their own...and for those that being held against their own will...that is what makes the “holy collaboration” so worthwhile! For additional information on sex trafficking in Europe please take a look at the following is a real “eye opener”
Thank You

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