The Face of Slav­ery

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Kari Malkovich

Abra­ham Lin­coln was the orig­i­nal abo­li­tion­ist, but slav­ery still ex­ists. It has a new face: it’s the face of an in­no­cent child. Vic­tims to­day in­clude nearly 2 mil­lion chil­dren through­out the world. They are slaves, ex­ploited for sex.

Utah At­tor­ney Gen­eral Sean Reyes is an in­ter­na­tional leader in fight­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing and re­cently tes­ti­fied be­fore the United States Congress on the evils and per­ils of this in­dus­try. Ac­cord­ing to Reyes, hu­man traf­fick­ing is the fastest-grow­ing crim­i­nal en­ter­prise world­wide and the sec­ond most lu­cra­tive crim­i­nal en­ter­prise glob­ally ahead of arms deal­ing and coun­ter­feit­ing.

A sub­set of hu­man traf­fick­ing is child traf­fick­ing. The AG’s of­fice works with agen­cies na­tion­wide to fight do­mes­tic child traf­fick­ing, but over­seas, it is another story. That is where Op­er­a­tion Un­der­ground Rail­road comes in.

OUR is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that res­cues kid­napped chil­dren from slav­ery. Their res­cue jump teams are com­prised of highly skilled ex-Navy Seals as well as CIA and other op­er­a­tives who work in con­junc­tion with and in full co­op­er­a­tion with lo­cal po­lice forces and for­eign gov­ern­ments to lib­er­ate chil­dren around the world. They res­cue these chil­dren and de­liver them to safe havens that of­fer free­dom and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

To­day, hun­dreds of en­slaved vic­tims of sex traf­fick­ing, mostly mi­nors, are free due to OUR’s res­cue ef­forts. One hun­dred and twenty-four of these vic­tims, ages 9-16, were lib­er­ated in three highly dan­ger­ous, si­mul­ta­ne­ous un­der­cover res­cues in Colom­bia in a one-hour pe­riod in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Of the Oc­to­ber res­cue, Reyes said he posed as the body­guard and trans­la­tor of a phony pe­dophile busi­ness­man in the un­der­cover op­er­a­tion. “Op­er­a­tion Un­der­ground Rail­road is an amaz­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion,” said Reyes. “They set up oper­a­tions the world over to lib­er­ate chil­dren from the clutches of traf­fick­ers and then pro­vide them with the care, coun­sel­ing and re­cov­ery re­sources needed for sur­vival.”

Lead by Tim Bal­lard, a for­mer CIA agent and founder of OUR, this non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion can deal di­rectly with law en­force­ment and child ser­vices in each of the coun­tries it op­er­ates in with the in­vi­ta­tion and bless­ing of the am­bas­sadors, heads of state or other top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

Traf­fick­ing is also a se­ri­ous is­sue in Utah. The AG’s Se­cure Strike­force has made nu­mer­ous ar­rests in­clud­ing some of the big­gest and high­est-pro­file cases in state history. Reyes said, “In Utah, our state is lead­ing out the fight against hu­man traf­fick­ing,” he said.

He goes on to warn: “Even in Utah, peo­ple are able to hide in plain sight. The com­mu­nity is so trust­ing. No one be­lieves or wants to be­lieve it hap­pens here, so traf­fick­ers have lit­tle or no risk of be­ing iden­ti­fied and caught.” That is un­til now — and you can help.

The cost of a res­cue is $25,000 to $60,000. OUR re­cently launched a fundrais­ing cam­paign ti­tled “Be­come an Abo­li­tion­ist: Give a Lin­coln, Save a Slave.” For as lit­tle as $5 a month, you can help their ef­forts in res­cu­ing chil­dren world­wide (https://our­res­cue.org/). In ad­di­tion, you can vol­un­teer to host a fun run, a yard sale or any fundrais­ing event on their be­half. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Doug Os­mond at doug@our­res­cue.org.

Utah At­tor­ney Gen­eral Sean Reyes is an in­ter­na­tional leader in fight­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing and re­cently tes­ti­fied be­fore Congress on the evils of this in­dus­try.

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