France (MNN) — There's a lot of money to be made in selling people. Human trafficking is the world's second-most lucrative business, topped only by drug trafficking. It enslaves an estimated 27 million people. Their "prisons" can take a variety of forms: forced labor, prostitution, child soldiery, and even professional begging.
Believers in France are reporting progress as they endeavor to "set the captives free."
A couple working with Operation Mobilization say they've seen small steps toward justice for one trafficking victim. André* faced rejection alongside Kate* as her request for asylum was denied by the national court. He didn't give up, though; he fought for Kate's justice by writing a letter to the judge overseeing her case. As a result, Kate got to appear in court a second time.
The judge also allowed André to plead Kate's case, and according to the lawyer, there's a 99% chance that Kate will be recognized as a victim of human trafficking. Pray that authorities will allow her to stay in a place of safety.
According to government estimates, the number of people being trafficked into the UK is rising. France serves as a hub, with a multitude of women coerced into sex slavery in large French cities.
"Sex trafficking networks controlled by Bulgarians, Romanians, Nigerians, and French citizens force women into prostitution through debt bondage, physical force, and psychological coercion, including the invocation of voodoo," states a June report from the U.S. Department of State.
"There are also reports that a significant number of children, primarily from Romania, West Africa, and North Africa, are victims of sex trafficking in France. The economic crisis in neighboring countries has led to an increase in the number of child victims of trafficking."
André and his wife began tackling trafficking with OM France three years ago. With the help of local churches and volunteers, OM teams offer practical help to victims and share the Gospel. Advocacy is among the activities André is involved in; he has contact with local authorities and the national court of asylum, fighting for the recognition of women as victims of human trafficking.
You can share God's love with trafficking victims in-person. OM is seeking women with a servant's heart to participate in their outreach next summer. Click here for details.
* Name changed for security.