These children, women, and men are victims of unspeakable crimes – hidden from the outside world and held in deep captivity. They endure horrendous, inhumane, dangerous, and life-threatening working and living conditions.
Children are especially vulnerable. Their innocence, purity, and virginity can be literally sold by traffickers in the sex trade. These trafficked children experience brutal abuse – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Their stories are heart-breaking and their numbers are staggering.
Villages in deep poverty may be complicit in the sale of their children. Starving, desperate parents are tricked by agents thinking that the visitors to their village can find acceptable work for their children in the cities. They are promised a good life and income for their children, not realizing that their own flesh and blood will be sold into the hands of ruthless men and women who will exploit them.
In addition to commercial sexual exploitation, many traffickers sell their victims into forced labor situations with horrendous working conditions. Camel jockeying, fishing, farming, ranching, garment sweatshops, and logging and mining are some of the businesses that use trafficked persons.
Military regimes have been known to unethically employ child soldiers, who experience severe physical and sexual abuses as well as severe manipulation.
The Seasoning Process
Children, as young as 6 years old, are initiated into the world of commercial sex through a process called seasoning. Seasoning involves brute physical and psychological violence to transform an innocent child into a “willing” child prostitute. These children are led like lambs to slaughter.
Children are starved, burned, bound, chained, and relentlessly tortured while being held captive in repulsive surroundings. They may be repeatedly raped gang-rape style or with bottles and other foreign objects.
The will to resist is broken during the seasoning process. Children put through seasoning must adapt to survive.
Internationally, the average age of a trafficked victim in the sex industry is 11 to 14 years old (U.S. Dept. of State) with children as young as 4 to 6 years of age being given over to the trade.
The average victim is forced to have sex up to 40 times a day. (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
According to those who have worked in the field of rescue, the lifespan of these children is reduced to approximately only eight more years of life from the point of entry into the world of commercial sex.
The Enslavement Process
The following illustrates the methods used by traffickers and slaveholders to victimize and control their “products”:
- Drafting – Children, women, and men, who live in societies and communities deprived of power, are preyed on by traffickers.
- Removing – Victims are transported from their home area and taken to locations where help cannot be accessed by traffickers.
- Dominating – Victims’ lives are controlled in every aspect by the slaveholder.
- Brutalizing – Victims receive harsh, violent treatment at the hands of the slaveholder to ensure total servitude.
- Using – Victims exist as property by slaveholders with little regard for their well-being. No hope. No freedom. No dignity.
Human trafficking is not a new phenomenon. However, it has gained worldwide momentum over recent years. Redemption For Life is linking arms with partner ministries and organizations to stop this atrocious crime and provide rescue, rehabilitation, and restoration for those children, women, and men who have fallen victim. Every person is valuable.
It is time for people from all spheres of life to do their part in bringing this major force down. RFL invites you to respond to this opportunity and stand with us.
The Mandate: To Demonstrate Love
RFL stands for and believes in the call to rescue and restore the hurting and lost.
Love looks like something.
Place yourself in the picture. Imagine a child on the edge of the sea of corruption, about to be thrown in to the continuous terror that exists for children trafficked for commercial sex. Now imagine that just before that child is forced into captivity by traffickers, he or she is scooped up and rescued. Or envision a child who has already been held in the heinous clutches of the sex industry being set free!
Picture in your heart that moment of release, and see the loving hands of those who will care for them as they heal and move into a life of freedom and wholeness.
This IS what love looks like.
Consider linking arms with RFL to rescue, rehabilitate, and restore precious human lives back to the dignity and freedom for which they were created.
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.