Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I found out about this through Paramore, an amazing band. This is the story of LOVE146, an organization dedicated to abolish Child sex slavery.
The Statistics are staggering..
*2 Children per minute are trafficked for sexual exploitation
*1.2 million Children are trafficked anually
*32 Billion Dollars is generated from human trafficking each year
To get involved go to www.Love146.org.
The number pinned to her dress was 146...
In 2002, the co-founders of Love 146 travelled to South East Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, there was an invitation to change the world. to transform a reality that cannot stand. Our male co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel, where they witnessed children being sold for sex. This was their experience. This is the story that changed our lives.
"...standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room. looking at little girls through a pane of glass. all of the girls wore matching red dresses. they stood, blankly watching cartoons on tv. they were vacant, shells. there was no light in their eyes, no life. to be missing this was shattering. this light has been stolen, this life has been stolen. she is raped each night. seven, ten, fifteen times each night. she is raped. she is thirteen, eleven, five-years-old. cigarette burns cover her back. scars we cannot see, cannot conceive of, cover her. everywhere. envelop her. there was one girl. one girl who wouldn't watch the cartoons. number 146. she was looking beyond the glass. she was staring out at us. her piercing stare. there was still fight left in her eyes. there was still life left in her...
...all of these emotions begin to wreck you. break you. it is agony. it is aching. it is grief. it is sorrow. the reaction is intuitive, instinctive. it is visceral. it releases a wailing cry inside of you. it elicits gut-level indignation. it is unbearable.
…i remember wanting to break through the glass. to take her away from that place, to juggle as many of them as I could into my arms. to take all of them away. wanting to break through the glass. to tell her to keep fighting. to tell her that we were coming for her…"
To break through the glass would have been to react instead of respond. it would only have postponed their suffering. a temporary and immediate solution cannot address this crisis, this emergency. the reality is dark, it is global. the numbers overwhelming. the words of those who have survived, we cannot forget.
"I was in that brothel for 3 years and for 2 of them I never saw the sun. They never let me out. I was in a little room and there was no window.
I was only eight and my sister was four when we were sold into the brothel."
It was in Thailand, where our co-founders encountered child 146, that our work began. Our projects have since expanded to Cambodia, the Philippines, India and soon Sri Lanka. The countries within which we work are among the predominant centers of the child sex trafficking and slavery industry. The governments of these countries consistently fail to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Thailand is widely recognized as a hub of sex tourism; Cambodia is without a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, legislation has been in the drafting process for the last 7 years; The Philippines saw only one conviction of a trafficker in the past year; India is home to 2 million child sex workers between the ages of 5 and 15, it is estimated that an additional 500,000 children are forced into the sex industry each year.
The story of Love146 needs an end.