International (E3, MNN) — Today, and throughout the month of January, the world is turning its attention to the human trafficking scourge. As with any disease, prevention is the easiest combat strategy.
“It would be nearly impossible to seek restoration in some communities without addressing human trafficking head-on,” says E3 Partners‘ Matt Morrison in a recent blog.
“In addition to shopping responsibly and supporting legislation that fights trafficking, you can personally do something about this growing global crisis.”
This year, E3 is taking steps to prevent human trafficking in four countries, and you can help them stop evil before it starts.
Morrison spells out the who’s, what’s, why’s and how’s below:
Throughout the year, e3 Partners offers a specific set of mission trips that target communities where children are sourced for the slave trade. In these particularly vulnerable and impoverished regions, human trafficking cartels pose as sympathetic father figures, successful businessmen, or even religious leaders, convincing families to surrender their children’s identification papers.
They promise steady income to the family and a better life in another country for the children. Instead, the children are subjected to prostitution and forced labor. With their victims’ travel papers in hand, the traffickers are able to make them disappear.
On e3 Priceless expeditions, participants venture into these communities and raise awareness about what really happens to children who are handed over to outsiders. It’s an opportunity to cut off human trafficking from the source by sharing the critical message that every life is priceless.
In 2016, four countries will be reached:
In 2014, the U.S. State Department downgraded Thailand to Tier 3 status in their annual Trafficking in Persons (T.I.P.) report, the lowest grade given to a government in their fight against slave trade. Reports of internal corruption have only made the matter worse. An informal smuggling network is at work in outlying villages across Asia, subjecting their victims to 20-hour work days in Thailand’s fishing industry and prostitution in the red light districts.
Cambodia is regarded as a transit country for trafficking cartels, often sending their victims into Vietnam and Thailand. Those trafficked within the country are subjected to sexual exploitation at a young age or domestic servitude.
In many cases, girls are sold off by their own mothers or romantic partners.
In Ethiopia, girls are forced into prostitution as early as eight years old. Meanwhile, boys are coerced to work as shop assistants or even beggars on the street. Since November 2013, over 163,000 Ethiopians have been smuggled into Saudi Arabia alone.
An estimated 65,000 children have been forced into prostitution in Colombia. Human trafficking has long been an issue for the country and, according to the United Nations, it is only getting worse. Economic hardships in outlying villages and towns have only exacerbated the situation, leading many desperate families to sell off their own children.
Want to do something about this growing human rights issue? Click here to explore expeditions going into these regions in 2016 and apply for a trip online!