Monday, May 27, 2013

1 operation, 2 days, 3 traffickers, 4 girls

We're all smiles at Blue Dragon today - our latest operation to find 2 trafficked girls has gone particularly well.

Blue Dragon's lawyer, Van, received a call for help late last week and headed north west to Dien Bien province. Dien Bien is an exceptionally beautiful place, still very undeveloped, and is home mostly to people from ethnic minority communities. But it is also a target for human traffickers. Its sheer remoteness, the great distances between towns, and the endemic poverty make it a fertile province for exploitation of the worst kind.

Van worked with the provincial police to investigate a case of 2 girls who had just gone missing from one village. They discovered that the trafficker was taking them overland to the Chinese border, and so raced north to head them off. Storms and downpours slowed them down, but they made it and Van spent the night in a Chinese border post watching in case the trafficker tried to cross.

This morning, the team spotted the trafficker with 2 girls, and the police swooped in to make the arrest.The girls were hugely relieved to be set free. Their most terrifying nightmare had been narrowly diverted.

On interrogation, the man admitted that one of his partners in crime was in the midst of transporting 2 more girls from another town. Again, they were headed to the border, but in a totally different area. Van and the police spent most of today racing through the mountains, and once again they got there in time. Two more girls released, and this time 2 traffickers arrested.

We've been very fortunate in our work to get some great results over time, but today has been exceptional. Four girls are giving statements to police, and 3 traffickers are now out of action permanently.

We may never know how many girls they have already trafficked, but we do know how many will fall victim to them in the future: None.

Two girls, set free from traffickers, enter the local police station
to give statements 

A suspected trafficker is being taken to the district police
to prepare to face court

Two days of work have made a big difference... Not only in the lives of these 4 girls, but also to the villages which were being targeted by these traffickers. We expect, too, that other traffickers will be scared off, at least for a little while. They can see that the risk of getting caught is increasing. They cannot do this work without fear of consequences. 

A special thanks, too, to our partner organisation Giving It Back To Kids. Van was talking to Robert, the founder of GIBTK, at the moment he received the call for help, and Robert immediately offered to underwrite the costs of the rescue trip. We are really fortunate to have friends like that, who are willing to make this work possible. With this kind of help, we really can do Whatever It Takes to end human trafficking.


Dani said...

Fantastic work. Well done Michael.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful work everyone. Congratulations to the Blue Dragon team.