Tag Archives: Child Labor

A Closer Look at Human Trafficking

3 Oct

Guest blog post by Katy P., Team Haiti 2012

Parents, imagine having to sell your child for food or to get out of poverty. Imagine your child being taken by either someone you know or a stranger and forced into doing unimaginable things that are pornographic, or in human trafficking, etc. I know this is hard to imagine or even think that this would happen to your child, but unfortunately this happens every day to millions of children all over the world.

Human trafficking has been described as: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons: by the threat or use of kidnapping, force , fraud, deception or coercion, or by the giving or receiving of unlawful payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, and for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children can take many forms and include forcing a child into prostitution or other forms of sexual activity or child pornography. Child exploitation can also include forced labor or services, slavery, servitude, the removal of organs, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for use in begging, or for recruitment for cults.

When people think of traffickers, they normally think of strangers, and most of the time it is strangers, but other times it is a family member or a neighbor.  Many parents, especially in poor countries, sell their children to pay off debts or gain an income, or they may be deceived concerning the prospects of training or a better life for their children.  They may sell their children for labor, sex trafficking or illegal adoptions.  Unfortunately, victims of trafficking are later used to traffic other women and children, because that is all they know how to do. Continue reading

Pondering the Word ‘Orphan’

19 Sep

Blog post by Katy P., Team Haiti 2012

When I think of the word ‘orphan’, there are a lot of words that come to mind. Two of the dominate words are: starving and parent-less. There are a lot of orphans that are starving and have no parents, but there are also orphans who have to deal with much more terrifying and deadly things than that. Poverty, child labor, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, etc. are not the first things that come to mind when I think of orphans….but they should be.

Knowing that children all over the world face these kinds of terrible things makes me want to help them in any way possible. One of the reasons I am going on this trip to Haiti is to see firsthand what these kids go through on a regular basis. I want to be able to come back with a better understanding and know how to tell others what is going on and how they can help. I not only want to help with their everyday needs of clothing, food, and supplies, I want them to know that there is a loving, caring God who loves them unconditionally. He will be there no matter what happens in their lives.

On my first trip to Russia, I got to work with orphans. At one of the orphanages there were rooms with babies who never got held; they were fed by their bottles being propped up by pillows and they lay in their cribs all day staring at the ceiling. There was another room with kids that were disabled; they had all kinds of toys, but they were not allowed  to go anywhere because of their disability. In that room there was one little girl who had no legs, so she would scoot to me using her arms.  She was so happy. Another boy had no arms or legs, so he would roll to me. Still there were other rooms I could not go into because those were the rooms with the “sick” kids. I was never told what the symptoms were; all they could tell me was that the kids were very “sick.” Seeing and hearing all they went through really got to me and broke my heart. It got me thinking of what I could do and how I could tell others about how they could also help.

I realized that I am happiest when I am helping someone else. Whether it be somewhere in another country or right next door, I love working with kids. I can walk into a restaurant, store, church and anywhere else, and have a child smile or wave to me and it makes my day. I love to smile or wave back and to know that my smile or wave has made their day. It is one of the best feelings in the world.

A lot of people ask me “Why Haiti” and I honestly don’t know how to answer them. God has opened this door for me and I am going to step through it. Although I don’t know what is going to happen on this trip, I know that God has it under control, and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use me for His glory.

Katy resides in Oneida, KY and will be serving with Journey 117 in October on Team Haiti.

Just as My Children…

19 Jul

Blog post by Gemma C., Team Ethiopia 2012

Over the years I have read papers and books, watched movies and documentaries, sat in lectures, and heard many news reports telling of the many terrible things that people all over the world have to endure, day after day. There is poverty, lack of access to clean water, child labor, child soldiering, HIV/AIDS, so many factors contributing to the orphan crisis. Each of these is so difficult to think about, and so hard to understand why so many have to deal with it, but the one which inevitably hits me the most is child prostitution and child sex-trafficking. I took a little wander around the Web this evening, and 15 minutes into the stories and statistics of children abducted, put on menus and sold for sex, and I am just sick again at the realization of what goes on, and the prevalence of it.

This blog post is supposed to share statistics, quotes, stories and information to open your eyes to the reality of child sex-trafficking and exploitation. I have been staring at this screen for an hour now, my mind is reeling, and I don’t even know where to start. The statistics are easy to find, websites www.love146.org, www.sctnow.org and www.stopdemand.org are just a few out there. The sad reality is that twice while I was researching, a link for a webpage or a video was wrong, and the default pages that showed up were advertisements for prostitution and pornography. How twisted is that? Continue reading

Nadeem & Manan

17 Jul

Blog post by Naomi P., Team Ethiopia 2012

For this blog post, Namoi chose to create a PDF with graphics, stories, and information about Child Labor. Click the link to open the PDF: child_labor

Child Laborer

Naomi resides in Canada and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team Ethiopia.

Modern Day Slavery

14 Jun

Blog post by Cathleen Brown, Team Iraq 2012

“And, sir, when we think of eternity, and of the future consequences of all human conduct, what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion, and of God?” 

William Wilberforce stated these words while fighting for freedom for slaves in 1781, in England in front of the British Parliament.   He believed it was the job of ordinary men, not just political leaders to stop the injustice of slavery.  In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing anyone held as a slave.  The end drew near for the African slave trade due to persuasive words, incessant ambition, and continual conviction from God by these God fearing men.  Little did they know, the slave trade would still continue more than 200 years after Wilberforce and 150 years after Lincoln.  It would occur again, and not openly accepted, but just as heinous as before;  hidden, with less acceptance in culture, yet driven by money hungry pedophiles and ordinary men.  These men are not dissimilar to the men of the past.  It is human sex trafficking, the second-largest organized crime in the world.

It is estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in internationally and between 50 and 60 percent of the children are under the age of 16 (UNICEF).  Human trafficking of orphans internationally and domestically is driven by pornography and greed.  Winfrey defines child sex trafficking:

Sex Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.

Orphans are vulnerable to trafficking as they are emotionally, mentally and physically not able to defend themselves, they have no one to stand up for them them and due to poverty, are often sold by family members so others may have food and shelter.  In order to prevent the trafficking of orphans, there must be a place for the children to go that is an alternative to the deplorable option of trafficking life where they are loved and cared for.  The communities need education, prevention, strict justice for the traffickers, and rehabilitation for the children taken out of the sex trade. Continue reading

Eyes Wide Open

18 May

Heather on her first mission trip at Lebanese Evangelical School in Ain Zhalta, Lebanon. (April 2011)

Blog post by Heather, Team Iraq 2012

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with many children. God gave me a love for them from an early age and has opened many doors of opportunity for serving with children in different capacities. It gives me great joy to work with children and each one I’ve met has been a blessing to me. Over the past couple of years, the Lord has opened my eyes to the abuse and neglect of children around the world and also the teachings of His word in regards to the orphan. I was able to read stories of children in bonded slavery and those trapped within child brothels. I had opportunities to hear missionaries speak in our church about how they uprooted their lives and families to follow the commands of Isaiah 1:17 and defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow. I served alongside my parents who are missionaries in Lebanon, where we visited a girl’s home and I was able to befriend a young girl who experienced the neglect and abandonment of her family. All of this has placed a burden on my heart for the children of this world. I look forward to the Lord working in me and through me on this trip to accomplish His purposes in fulfilling His word – to look after orphans and widows in their distress.

Heather resides in Ontario, Canada and will be serving with Journey 117 in June on the Iraq team.

 

2 Week Mission Trip….A Waste of Time and Money?

27 Apr

Blog post by Cathleen B., Team Iraq 2012

Why would someone go on a trip across the world to meet orphans and then leave after two weeks?

Growing up in middle class America, we read Oliver Twist and Tom Sawyer and have a romanticized view of orphans.  Both characters display a life of independence and adventure that we crave as children.  The books are fun, but they deceive us into thinking that orphan life is the essence of greatness and fun and there are no authority figures to submit to.  We don’t imagine life without parents who shelter, love, protect and teach us.  Then as we grow up we forget about orphans altogether and focus on the needs of ourselves and others in our immediate approximate.

Only until recently have I come back to thinking about the orphan again; this time, in a more sobering light.  As I read about the orphan again, I read about the child who is shunned by society, not exempt from any country in the world, not offered loved and often exposed to crime.  I imagine what life would be like to be despised by society just because I was born.  These innocent children are often exposed to sex trafficking and even forced labor.  Orphans are many times never offered love in their entire lives and as a result end up in prison or have life without hope.  So what is 2 weeks going to do in the impact of a child’s life?  It is an opportunity to love.  In going on this trip, I believe that even if it was for one day, it is priceless and could give the child a chance for the future, hope, and most importantly an opportunity of life of eternity with Christ.

So, why do I want to go on a trip?  It may seem like a waste of time for many. I mean… two weeks with orphan kids and then you come home.  Isn’t that a waste? Well, the truth is… wouldn’t it be worth it for you if you were the orphan? The answer is unequivocally, yes. If we are to love God and the things He loves, why would we not go and love the orphan. People came to talk and play with you, share Christ, and help you see that not only are you valuable and important, but a child of God with purpose and a future. The most important thing about going for me is because I see how vulnerable these little blessings are. They are surrounded by hurting people who have suffered war, they are limited in their resources of love and opportunities in life. Often children who are in orphanages are exposed to different kinds of trafficking and are taught they are not valuable in life and will not ever be in their society. Not because of anything they have done, but because of who society says they are. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Cathleen will be serving on the Iraq Journey 117 Team leaving in June 2012. Cathleen resides in Fort Worth, Texas.