For our agents’ and survivors’ safety, we sometimes need to keep specific locations where we operate undisclosed. The inherent risks of working in such areas do not deter our courageous rescuers. Unless captioned, images are representational.
Finding work in remote villages in South Asia can be difficult. The limited economies are quickly saturated, meaning younger community members must leave home to find a way to sustain themselves.
Such was the case for ten young women and girls who moved from their modest homes to the city to find work. One by one, they were discovered and recruited to work in a local spa. It must have been exciting for them; a career in the service industry is highly sought after in many parts of the world.
But it wasn’t long before the truth came to light: they weren’t valued members of a reputable spa. They were viewed as a commodity, lured by a human trafficker into a life of exploitation.
Word came to Destiny Rescue (an organisation whose rescue work in Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia Child Rescue helps fund) through a trusted informant: children and young women were being exploited at a nearby spa.
As soon as they got the intel, the team jumped into action. Agents on the ground disguised themselves as customers and went undercover to confirm the claims and gather more data.
They entered the establishment in the guise of men looking for more than just a typical spa experience. They encountered ten “hostesses,” all between 15 and 18 years old. While undercover, agents learned that the victims were forced to commit sex acts under the dark cloud of threats of blackmail.
Then agents took it one step further: upon meeting the victims, our operatives dropped their cover for a moment, revealing that they were Destiny Rescue agents investigating reports of exploitation.
The response was indisputable: the abused girls and young women immediately asked to be rescued.
That impassioned request was all the agents needed to proceed. Their next step was notifying the authorities. The countless hours agents have spent proving their worth have helped us solidify a strong relationship with local police. By showing time and again that our organisation operates with the utmost integrity, officers have come to trust that everything we do is for the children we rescue.
Destiny Rescue teamed up with child services and police to execute a raid at the spa. The raid was a success: all ten victims were rescued. In addition, several offenders, including the trafficker and a couple of sex buyers, were taken into custody by police.
After a medical checkup, survivors joined Destiny Rescue agents in debriefing the police to build a solid case against the criminals who’d exploited them. Afterward, the girls and young women were cared for at a shelter, where they received counselling for the trauma they endured.
The agents began the laborious and delicate process of locating and contacting the survivors’ families. Many victims come from remote villages where communication is limited, making the logistical aspect of reunification difficult at times. At the time of this post’s publication, all the survivors have been reunited with their families!
Each region presents its own challenges in rescue, but Destiny Rescue’s relentless agents are committed to their work despite the obstacles. They will never stop bringing the light of hope to the darkness by rescuing precious lives from the clutches of exploitation. They truly follow Jesus’ command to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16. ESV.)
Will you help support these heroes in their efforts to free more exploited children? Complete the form below to join the fight.
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Child Rescue Charitable Trust and Child Rescue Charitable Aid Trust are registered New Zealand charities. Separate returns for each charity are filed each year with Charities Services which is a NZ Government organisation under the Department of Internal Affairs.
Annual reports to Charities Services can be viewed here
Please note: Annual Reports on this website will refer to ‘Destiny Rescue’ – Child Rescue’s name in New Zealand until August 2017.