Category Archives: children

woman and men created equal

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As I finish editing Boundless, the story of Dr. Katharine Bushnell, I’m overwhelmed at the persistence and bravery of this nineteenth century woman. She spent her life exposing sexual slavery and calling on legislators to pass laws to raise the age of consent and outlaw White Slavery (trafficking then.) She was passionate to serve God and to teach about the value He placed on all humanity. The Bible compelled her, at great personal cost, to fight against those who devalued women in her day. And little has changed – I was heart-sick to read about little girls SOLD BY THEIR PARENTS for as little as $10US dollars. Read on. . .

Asia—2014– In Nepal and India, extreme poverty results in malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, and often deep spiritual depravity.
Little value is placed on women and girls in these countries where they are sold into sex slavery by members of their own families for as little as $10 USD, depending on their age and beauty.

They refer to themselves as “the walking dead” for they are without hope. Girls as young as 7 have been sold into slavery. These women and girls are confined in a room called “the cage” where they are beaten, starved, and raped until their will is broken. Then they are forced to service customers to repay their debt–a debt that incurs more in interest than they are paid for their services. those brothels, conditions are filthy and sickness is rampant. Girls who succumb to infection are turned out on the streets to die. (Just like infected girls were turned out of the brothels in the British military cantonments in India in the 1890’s)

Vision Beyond Borders launched its Vision for Women to answer the growing crisis. The safe house they helped fund just 6 months ago is full, and more women are ready to come out of the industry.
Adapted from Mission Network News by Joan Kramer

At least today exposing trafficking does not depend on a lone woman here and there to fight against the evil. The Bible teaches that men and women were created equal in God’s sight, and equal to work side by side: “God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female created he them. So God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals’ . . . Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way”. Genesis 1: 27-29, 31.

A ready market in the Magreb of Africa for young girls.

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Professor Lawrance of the Rochester Institute of Technology said that if he were to visit any number of West African countries “I would have no difficulty, within a matter of hours, in finding a place to procure children.”

While the imagery of a slave market conveyed by the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, may have been aimed partly at attracting attention, Professor Lawrance said, “it is not a stretch of the truth to imagine where you could buy children, sitting and waiting to be sold.”

Child trafficking is considered such an insidious problem that the United Nations Human Rights Council has assigned special rapporteurs to investigate it for nearly 25 years. The last rapporteur, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, a Moroccan pediatrician who specializes in the protection of vulnerable children, said in a report to the council in March that they were more at risk than ever to sexual slavery. “Millions of girls and boys worldwide are victims of sexual exploitation, even though this issue in recent years has gained increased visibility,” she said.In report she issued in December, Dr. Maalla M’jid said that in recent years, the increase of child trafficking has been greater for girls.

Rights advocates say many cases go undetected. Susan Bissell, the chief of child protection at Unicef, said Wednesday in a phone interview that there were 1.2 million known cases a year of child trafficking globally, “and that’s a gross underestimate, because of situations in this context; it’s totally clandestine.”

Rights groups have conducted numerous studies documenting the trafficking of girls and women in Africa, which is often done through deceptive means. In a 2010 report, for example, Human Rights Watch found networks in Ivory Coast and Nigeria that systematically trafficked in Nigerian women who had thought they were being recruited as apprentice hairdressers or tailors or the person who took them would hurt them.”

Ms. Bissell said part of the enforcement problem lay in many victims’ lack of official identities — 230 million children do not have birth certificates, which makes them virtually impossible to trace.
Adapted from New York Times May 8,2014

This evil seems to have no end. Can you imagine what would happen if these perpetrators had grown up in a loving home with parents who modeled honesty and respect for each other? Parents who made sure children were educated–or at least taught basic values like love, kindness, integrity, a work ethic,– and that God, who loves them, created both boys and girls as equally valuable and full of potential?

Trafficking at the world Cup

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Brazil (MNN) — The FIFA World Cup is among the world’s most widely-viewed sporting events, with the last event filling stadiums in South Africa with some 3.18 million fans.
With less than 90 days to go until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, tickets are in high demand. But so are Brazilian women and children.
Trafficking is already on the rise in Brazil; government reports indicate a 1,500% increase last year. The 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games are expected to bring another spike.

In the nineteenth century, when Kate Bushnell was asked to expose trafficking in the British military in India, her efforts had to be kept secret. She shocked a defiant parliament which refused to believe her findings. Today society is not not only keenly aware of the growing
epidemic (like at the World-Cup) but many organizations, public and private, are working to eliminate the scourge. Yet the plague continues without abatement. No wonder Kate’s mentor advised her to stop wearing herself out visiting “dens” and fighting authorities, and find ways to change men’s attitudes toward women as objects.

Is there a solution?

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One hundred ten years ago Dr.Kate Bushnell([see more under “about the books”} finally figured out that trafficking, a word unknown until a few decades ago,would never end until the hearts of men and women changed. And little has changed– young trafficked girls are like a chocolate bar at the checkout counter. Chocoholics can’t resist the temptation until they’ve changed their lifestyle and diet. Sexual addicts will always find a place to find available girls, until their moral and ethical values change.It’s like the drug traffic. America would be free of drugs if there were no buyers!

Read about a brave young girl in Guatemala who managed to stop a trafficker– in another way.

Guatemala (MNN) — An estimated 90% of sexual abuse cases go unreported in Guatemala. If a case is brought to court, the likelihood that the abuser will not be punished is also 90%. That’s what makes a recent trial so special for a girl in the Oasis program. Courtney, a 14-year-old girl had to testify against the man who prostituted her for several years.

“She really had a tough time in court but stood up to it extremely well,” says Corbey Dukes of the Oasis program, who acted as the girl’s legal representative.

“The defense attorney really tried to wear her down; she had over an hour of testimony. But at the end of it, he just threw his hands up and said, ‘No more questions’ and sat down. And he was the guy who was defeated.”

According to the U.S. State Department’s 2013 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report, Guatemalan women and children are “exploited in sex trafficking within the country, as well as in Mexico, the United States, and Belize.

“Foreign child sex tourists–predominantly from Canada, the United States, and Western Europe–as well as Guatemalan men exploit children in prostitution.”

Courtney was prostituted for approximately 60-cents per visit, says Dukes. And she wasn’t the only one, he adds. “She has two cousins here; one is two years younger than her and one is five or six years younger than her,” says Dukes. “They were all exploited in the same way.”

All three of the young women are involved in the Oasis program and taking strides toward a better future. The Oasis is a Christian safe haven for girls who have been forced into child labor, experienced physical and sexual abuse (often all three), and have either been abandoned or have fled for their safety and lives.

Adapted from Mission Network News

When bounded is better

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Boundless, the fascinating life of Dr. Katharine Bushnell, who exposed and fought sexual trafficking in the 19th century, begins in China. Kate was horrified at the inhumane and brutal mangling of little girls’ feet, broken and bound to never grow beyond three inches in length. This began Kate’s lifelong passion to see women respected and freed to their full potential, unbound by tradition and free to serve God.

This little uTube turns the story around, to show how thousands of children around the world born with club feet, can be freed to live their full potential—by binding their feet.

This is a short promo piece by an NGO, but the pictures of change are amazing. Facilitators have made changed children’s lives in more than 27 countries!

And watch for my forthcoming novel, Boundless, based on a true story, full of drama, danger, romance and adventure.