About 21 million adults and children are victims of forced labour today; and nearly 46 million people are subject to modern slavery.The threat grew ever worse as human trafficking is now only trailing drug dealing as the second largest illegal trade sector in the world. The “commodities” of human trafficking could be resold and re-abused, while drugs could only be consumed once. How could we sit still and ignore all the victimised individuals who possess God’s image and are cherished deeply by Him?
What is Human Trafficking?
How Are CEDAR and its Partners Responding?
RESCUE: Reach and Rescue Children and Women Victims
Starting from 2013, CEDAR has been partnering with ethnic minority churches in China and Myanmar to build a support network to reach cross-border individuals including Burmese women who were sold as brides and youth who were sold into forced labour. The churches have been able to rescue some of the brides and labourers and helped them to return home. Our Myanmar partners also bore fruits in saving young girls who worked in the red-light districts of Yangon from the control of pimps and commercial sex activities.
PROSECUTION: Arresting Traffickers
Thailand, being an exporter, importer, and port of sex trafficking activities, is the major hub of commercial sex in Southeast Asia. Our partners there cooperate with the local police in search and arrest of human traffickers in red-light districts. “Locking them up prevents more innocent women and children from being sold as sex slaves,” our partner says.
REHABILITATION: Protecting, Counseling, and Training Previous Victims
In Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, our partners provide shelters, counseling, vocational training, and employment referral services for previous trafficked victims. Some of our partners even provide basic livelihood and education support for the victims’ children. “Rehabilitation is a long process since victims will experience bumps along the way… Culturally strong ties to the family is also causing some girls to return to the families who once betrayed them, making them vulnerable to being trafficked again.”
PREVENTION: Raising Awareness and Establishing Support Networks
CEDAR and churches located near the China-Myanmar border have been promoting human trafficking and safety employment awareness among young labourers who wished to work in China. We also refer them to honest companies in China so that they would be in good hands. Our partners established church and community support networks in northern India and in mountainous communities of Nepal to mobilise and train churches to be aware of human trafficking issues within their communities and educate community members about the issue. They also provide small business loans for impoverished families to improve their livelihoods.