Today is the last of our posts for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Thank you for embracing this series, we hope this has both challenged and encouraged you to find your own way of abolishing Human Trafficking.
Ruby works in a vocational training centre in Cambodia empowering survivors of human trafficking and equipping them with professional skills. For confidentiality reasons and the girls' safety, we're unable to link you to this particular organisation's website. In it's place we encourage you to check our Radiant Cosmetics, that operate to support victims around the world.
What do I know of human trafficking?
I know a girl whose rape was only an opportunity for her parents to sell her.
I know a girl who whose aunt sold her to a brothel while her mother was at work.
I know a girl, six months old, whose great-grandmother was sold, whose grandmother was sold, whose mother was sold and whose destiny it was to also be sold.
I know a girl who ‘chose’ to be a sex worker in the place of her seven year old sister.
I know a girl who was chained up like an animal for five long years.
I know a girl who told every client she ‘serviced’ that she was being held against her will, but each one of them still raped her.
I know a girl who was told by her community that she was so stained she would never be worth anything again.
But these are not the girls I see.
I see a girl whose every day is an opportunity to establish her future and forget her past.
I see a girl who loves and trusts others inexplicably.
I see a girl whose mother sees she is worth more than money and would do anything to protect her.
I see a girl who always puts others before herself.
I see a girl who dances and laughs with incredible freedom.
I see a girl who’s determined to put her all into everything she puts her hand to.
I see a girl who is one of the world’s most valuable assets and treats others as if they are the world to her.
I see girls who refuse to be defined by their past.
In this industry of human trafficking, of corruption and heartache, people often ask me how I can possibly do the work I do.
These girls are my answer. They are my hope.
While humankind lives on this earth, there will always be sin. While there is sin, I'm afraid these atrocities will always occur. Too often, we hear of a girl in danger who can’t be rescued because the evidence just doesn’t exist. Too often, we hear that corrupt officials have tipped off brothel owners to police raids. Too often, a conviction can’t be secured. Too often, another girl is sold.
I can understand the frustration and the despair. I can understand the hopelessness of the situation. But not when I look into the faces of these girls. In their faces, I only see hope. I see redemption in the flesh. I see dignity restored. I see the promises of God tangibly. I see that God has plans for good and not for disaster. I see a future and a hope.
From this perspective, the barriers suddenly become less intimidating and the obstacles more trivial. I begin to see that God hasn’t called me to solve the problem that is human trafficking; He’s only called me to help these forty faces staring back at me. I begin to see that just as He heard the cries of these forty, He hears the cries of the rest. And I know He can move heaven and earth to comfort them too.
Human trafficking is not an insignificant problem. But then, our God is no insignificant God.
“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.”
How can I possibly do the work I do? I see the smiles on the faces of these girls. I see them coming to an understanding that they were created with a purpose and a value. This is how I deal with the discouragements. This is how I keep the world’s disincentives at bay. These precious rescued girls are why I can continue to come to work each day.