Bangladesh (MNN) — The recent popularity of the movie, “The Sound of Freedom” as well as the end of July marking a world day against trafficking in persons brings the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of minds.
World Concern is one ministry that has been active in the fight against human trafficking. In Bangladesh, World Concern has been serving for more than 30 years and has a presence in a quarter of the districts in the country.
Their 300-person team supports projects and interventions around the country dealing with child protection, child education, climate change, and more.
One partner with World Concern, Glorious, spoke to how the organization is serving in countries like Bangladesh.
“We also engage different faith leaders, with church partnerships to enhance the faith perspective of spiritual root causes of poverty so that we can reconcile with our Creator, we can reconcile with our neighbors, ourselves and with our families and the societies,” Glorious says.
In Bangladesh, it is estimated that around 400 women and children are trafficked every month; 20,000 per year; 200,000 every 10 years; one million over the last 30 year.
There are many root causes that create numbers this high including poverty, the unemployment rate, and the high inflation rates in Bangladesh.
Because of this, people in Bangladesh often try to find opportunities for a better life. Human traffickers exploit this desire and offer opportunities that instead become realities of sexual exploitation or child marriage.
“Human trafficking is basically child marriage, which is, I should say, Bangladesh (has) the highest rate of child marriage in the South Asian countries,” Glorious says.
When a young girl gets married before she is 18, she typically has no responsibility to take care of her family. This can lead to domestic and sexual exploitation in families, sometimes even violence.
This kind of marriage also typically means a young woman misses out on the opportunity for education.
World Concern works to prevent trafficking before it even happens by addressing the root causes that often lead to trafficking.
“We are trying to build different community groups where the community can see themselves and protect themselves according to the needs of the community, to protect their children,” Glorious says.
The vision of World Concern relates to John 10:10 which says that thieves come to steal and destroy, but Jesus comes so that we might have life abundantly.
Glorious says through child trafficking and sexual exploitation, the lives of children are killed, their childhood is stolen, and their spiritual life is often destroyed.
By addressing the root causes of human trafficking, children are given space to enjoy their freedom, their schooling, their growth, and their life.
“So that above everything else, we are trying to bring the overall transformations where we can see the overall reconciliations is happening. That is the big picture of God that we are assigned to do in this whole world,” Glorious says.
Learn more about the efforts of World Concern against human trafficking by visiting worldconcern.org.
Continue to pray that Bangladesh is transformed from its social norms and every child is dignified and treated with respect as an image bearer of God.