Teams of Child Rescue rescue agents are active in seven countries, working tirelessly to find and rescue children from sex trafficking and exploitation.
Our agents are expert collaborators, working closely with other like-minded agencies and law enforcement. These united efforts result in leads, investigations, rescues and arrests.
Although each team of agents is united to achieve our organisation’s vision and mission, their operations typically remain distinct from each other as they work to find and rescue children within their targeted areas.
That is, until last month when two separate teams had the rare opportunity to join forces to take down a notorious trafficker.
Shyla, 17, and her cousin, Hansa, lived in a large city in Central Asia where they both juggled several jobs to provide for their families. But they both lost their work when the country went into lockdown early this year.
Without employment, Shyla and Hansa returned to their rural home village. Here, they connected with Sundari, who was around their age and had also lost her job.
Shyla regularly messaged Kiran, a 21-year-old man she met on Facebook about a year ago. “Because of the lockdown, my cousin and I lost our jobs,” she told him. She also mentioned her recent move home and her new friend.
Once Kiran learned she and her friends were looking for work, he offered them all jobs in a neighbouring country. Desperate for an income, the girls accepted.
Kiran told them to leave without telling their parents and to meet him at a city near the border. Shyla told him she did not have money to travel, and he was quick to send money to cover their expenses. The three girls set off to follow his instructions.
They arrived at the city and met him, but their travel plans took an unexpected turn. He was joined by a woman, who he had paid to help traffic the girls. The three girls were then kept in a room for a night before moving to a hotel the next day.
The other side
Meanwhile, rescue agents in one of our undisclosed locations had been following a trafficker for a few months, but could not pin him down without hard evidence. One of our agents was finally able to infiltrate his circle of friends and make progress on the lead.
Our agent discovered he was indeed trafficking minors and was currently getting a few of them across a border. Our team acquired his phone number and one of our agents called him, pretending to be interested in the minors. The trafficker sent our agent photos of three girls and even gave away his location: a hotel near the border.
Pinning him down
Our agent quickly contacted our rescue team across the border. Along with police, they found and raided the hotel. The three girls, who were locked in a room, were rescued, and both traffickers were arrested.
Kiran’s phone was confiscated as a part of the raid. Information on his device is being investigated and could lead to more rescues in the near future.
Shyla, Hansa and Sundari were brought to Child Rescue’s transitional shelter where they were counselled on human trafficking. They are now reunited with their families in their village.
A trafficking case has been filed against both traffickers. Because of the joint efforts of both rescue teams, the evidence for the case is quite strong.
Names have been changed to protect identities. Photo is representational.