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OPERATION JARUL

OPERATION JARUL

 

While Indian Rescue Mission (IRM) was on an investigation in Mumbra, they gathered intel about a lady named Rizwan running a sex business in the area and established a contact with her two weeks prior to Operation Jarul.

Soon after, one of Rizwan’s agents asked IRM to come to Mumbra. She sent them two photographs of the girls and IRM responded they needed both girls and she agreed to it.

Then, they informed an officer about their intel at the social service branch/anti-human trafficking cell. IRM met at his office to make a pre-trap plan with his team: a decoy would be sent to the brothel to do the transaction. ₹15,000 ($230) was demanded for the younger girl.

The raid was fifteen kilometers away from the social service branch office. IRM and the police proceeded towards the brothel in different vehicles and then stayed in a spot some distance away and out of sight.

Contact was again made with the agent, who let them come in. The decoy customer from IRM along with two IRM team members went to the brothel and then paid the money to the brothel owner.

Once the transaction was done, the decoy was sent with the girl inside the room. Then the decoy signaled an IRM team member and the raiding team went inside the brothel. Inside the brothel they found two traffickers and two girls.

One of the girls’ traffickers was her own aunt. The trafficker brought this girl without the consent of her parents and then offered her to customers. The girl said her aunt told her, “We are going to a place to meet a friend and you sit with the friend in the bedroom for fifteen minutes”. The girl had no idea what was happening to her.

After the two girls were rescued, cash was recovered and sexual paraphernalia and other documents were seized. Complaints were registered against these two traffickers and they were arrested.


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There has been a lot of good work going on in India lately. If you missed the update about Operation Giant Squirrel, you can learn more about how 2 survivors were rescued and 3 traffickers were arrested in a hotel here.

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O.U.R. Gift of Freedom

O.U.R. Gift of Freedom

This upcoming Tuesday, November 14th, the Utah O.U.R. volunteers will be organizing a fundraiser called O.U.R. Gift of Freedom. Over 100 vendors will gather in the Startup Building in Provo to sell dinner, dessert, and gifts. The best part is 100% of every vendor’s proceeds will go to Operation Underground Railroad!

The volunteers who organized this event have five great reasons for everyone to attend:

1. 100% of all the proceeds from purchases will go to Operation Underground Railroad to rescue children from sex trafficking.

2. Rockwell Ice Cream, Cubby’s food truck, Sweeto Burrito, and Nothing Bundt Cake, will be there donating 100% too so come HUNGRY!

3. Amazing gifts, toys, experiences and gift cards all sold for a discount.

4. FREE items with your purchases: 1. FREE gift wrapping (O.U.R. Themed!) 2. FREE cookie with each $5+ purchase 3. FREE all-day pass to the bounce house with every $25 you spend!

5. LIVE Entertainment! Come Listen to Bri Ray, Yahosh Bonner, and many more great artists.

It’s a perfect date night to get all holiday shopping, wrapping, and dinner/dessert done in one place, and you can feel good knowing that all of the proceeds will go towards rescuing children. The goal of this fundraiser is to fund an entire rescue mission.

It is amazing to see how many vendors our Utah volunteers have already rounded up. That alone has spread awareness of our mission where it hasn’t been spread before. This event is a great way to bring your community together to fight human trafficking and “give the gift of freedom.”

Visit the event Facebook page here to learn more.


What can YOU Do?

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No matter what your talents, hobbies, or line of work is, your support in the fight against trafficking is important. Learn more about Malouf, a bedding company, one of our newest partners.

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How do you maintain hope when learning about trafficking?

How do you maintain hope when learning about trafficking?

“I’ve learned the answer to that question through my experience with other people who have had to live in that darkness.” –Tim Ballard

Learning that a dark world of child sex trafficking exists is not an easy concept to swallow. Yet, many feel a pull towards fighting it. The question then becomes, how do you fight in such a dark world while still maintaining hope and light? The answer to this question is something that we hope to share with you throughout the month of November as we gear up for our Giving Tuesday initiative.

Giving Tuesday is the global day of giving. You’ve probably heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you know that Tuesday, November 28th is Giving Tuesday? It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the holiday season. This year we want to kick off the giving season by raising enough money to help fund an aftercare home for our survivors. In addition, this November we want to share with you ways that you can “Shine Your Light” and find hope in the fight against trafficking.

How Tim Ballard Shines a Light on the Dark World of Trafficking

This is something that Tim Ballard wrestled with when he first was exposed to the dark world of child pornography. When his boss first asked him to be a part of the child crimes unit in the government, he and his wife’s first reaction was to say no: because they had kids.

After spending a lot of time pondering the issue, their perspective changed.

They said yes: because they had kids. “For the same reason I thought, ‘You can’t do this’, that we have kids, that’s the very reason I need you to go in there and tell them you are going to do this,” Katherine Ballard, Tim’s wife said. “We know what innocence this is. We know what a child’s life is supposed to look like. If there are kids out there that don’t have anything close to that…how can we say no?”

From that moment on, the Ballard family would learn to maintain hope and light in their lives, despite the dark world Tim worked in.

But how?

Tim Ballard says, “I’ve learned the answer to that question through my experience with other people who have had to live in that darkness.”

We often share the story of Gardy, the little boy who went missing in Haiti. When Tim heard about this story, he contacted Gardy’s father Guesno to learn more about the case. Because of the limitations of U.S. government officials working in other countries, Tim couldn’t do anything to save Gardy.

So he started Operation Underground Railroad. Starting a private NGO would allow him to work with the Haitian police to find Gardy. With only a small lead under their belts, the new O.U.R. team and the Haitian police raided an orphanage that allegedly was trafficking kids out the back door.  

Guesno waited eagerly to hear if they found his son.

The operation was successful in saving 28 kids and arresting the traffickers. But Gardy was not found. Tim had to break the news.

“I sat down with him and I said, I’m so sorry Guesno, he wasn’t there,” Tim said to Guesno.

Guesno put his head down in mourning, but only for about 10 seconds. Tim was confused when his head popped back up so fast with a smile on his face.

“You wouldn’t have come down here if my son hadn’t been kidnapped,” Guesno said. “Your team wouldn’t have been able to get those 28 kids and liberate them. If I have to lose my son, so that those 28 kids could be liberated, then that’s a burden that I am willing to bear.”

The question still rings: but how? How do you maintain hope and light that Guesno has?  

The day after this operation, Guesno marched down to the police station. He told them that he and his wife would raise ANY of the kids that were just liberated. The Haitian government brought 8 of the 28 kids to Guesno’s place, and he has been raising them since.

“And this man is happy,” Tim says. “What I learned from him in that situation is that what keeps the light on in the darkness is service.”

Fighting Together Increases Our Capacity

As Tim often states, there is a scientific principle that says that darkness cannot exist where there is light. When we serve others we spark light and chase out the darkness of the world of trafficking.

Matt Osborne, O.U.R. SVP of Rescue & Recovery, says that he “keeps the light” by focusing on the long-term perspective. He says as a society, we have made great strides in fighting human trafficking and we are moving in the right direction as we focus on spreading awareness of the issue. When we go outside of ourselves to serve, we shine our light, and the darkness dissipates.

“Even though we can’t save as many as we want to right now, we are trying and we’ve saved a lot, and we’re going to continue to save a lot,” Osborne says. “The more resources we are able to get, the more we will be able to save.”

Our capacity to rescue more children and help arrest more traffickers has been increasing significantly as we are able to partner with more organizations and help train more law enforcement teams.

We can fight trafficking together.

Throughout the month of November, we will be sharing our #GivingTuesday initiative to help fund an aftercare home for our survivors.

We invite you to follow along in our journey as we share stories of survivors and how aftercare is being provided in countries all over the world.

Thanks to generous O.U.R. donors, all funds raised on #GivingTuesday will be matched.

We might have some other surprises for you along the way as well! Make sure to mark your calendar and join the fight & shine a light with us on November 28th.


What can YOU Do?

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Prevention is key in the fight against trafficking. Read 3 Ways to Teach Your Kids Internet Safety here.

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OPERATION GIANT SQUIRREL

OPERATION GIANT SQUIRREL

 

IRM (Indian Rescue Mission) received information of a man named Vicky who was running a prostitution business in a Pune City hotelVicky’s wife, Roza, who left him a couple of months ago, passed this information to IRM. Roza left Vicky because the police arrested him several times on human trafficking cases. Although she hoped that he would become a new person after each case, he never changed. He beat her several times, threatening her not to get involved in his business. She then approached IRM with the information about his brothel.

Once the IRM team verified Roza’s information, they discovered Vicky had been supplying girls who were trafficked from another state in India. IRM then contacted Social Service Branch Officer Mr. Sanjay Patil, who arranged his team to conduct a raid.

 

 

The strategy: A decoy was sent to the brothel to make a money transaction, paying Rs. 5000 ($75) for one girl. Then the raiding team swooped in the brothel and rescued two girls. While questioning the victims, they verified they were trafficked from another state in India. It was also confirmed that Vicky was running his business online. 

Complaints were registered against the hotel owner, the manager of the brothel, and the main brothel owner who absconded during the raid. In a week’s time, police arrested and produced all before the court. This is the fifth case against Vicky. 

Aftercare Mission: Operation Tiberon

Aftercare Mission: Operation Tiberon

Last month the Dominican Anti-Human Trafficking Unit arrested 5 people and rescued 8 girls who were trafficked from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic and held in debt bondage in a bar outside of the capital city. The owner of the bar had help recruiting girls, and also had a contact in the airport who was being paid to look past a few documents and allow them to enter into the country.
O.U.R. Aftercare was asked to bring a suitcase full of hygiene kits to support this mission. The kits were given to the victims directly after the rescue while they waited to be interviewed by law enforcement. The rescued victims were also brought to an aftercare home. O.U.R. continues to be impressed with the capability and commitment of the Dominican anti-trafficking authorities and looks forward to supporting them in whatever areas they desire in the months and years to come.
Laptops were provided to the Dominican authorities to conduct more online investigations, which has helped result in recent operations.

What can YOU Do?

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In June 2017. O.U.R. Aftercare and Fox Valley Technical College worked together to provide survivors and officials in the Dominican Republic with tools to fight human trafficking. Read the full story here.

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OPERATION TRIDENT

OPERATION TRIDENT

Two were arrested and two were rescued in the process of Operation Trident – but there will potentially be more rescues. DSI approached O.U.R. regarding a European male that was arrested for the production and distribution of child pornography that was believed to be made in Thailand. Over the course of six months, DSI and O.U.R. focused on gaining access to a village that had at risk children living in it, along with traffickers that were making child pornography. During the investigation, they found that there were children being groomed by traffickers in the village. After enough evidence was found, two arrests and two rescues were made in the village.


What can YOU Do?

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Did you miss the last Slave Stealer episode? Episode 23 is about a young survivor of trafficking named “Rose,” who was able to escape from a dangerous situation. Join us in listening to it here.

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Slave Stealer 23: Rose

Slave Stealer 23: Rose

Slave Stealer episode 23, “Rose,” is next in the series of Glenn Beck’s narrations of O.U.R. operations. This story is about a 15-year-old girl who was able to escape trafficking.

But how?

Rose’s godfather contacted her parents to see if Rose wanted to come visit him. Excited for the adventure, they happily agreed. However, they never knew exactly how Rose’s godfather made his money. Unfortunately, she was about to find out.

When Rose was forced to meet her first “customer,” he greeted her at the bedroom door with rum and a machete. She yelled out, hoping that someone would help her.

Join us in listening to episode 23 of the Slave Stealer Podcast, “Rose,” to hear the story of how she escaped and how O.U.R. operatives got involved.


What can YOU Do?

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Did you miss the last Slave Stealer episode? Episode 22 is about a young survivor of trafficking named “Pedro,” and how he inspired Tim Ballard to strengthen his fight against trafficking.

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3 Ways to Teach Your Kids Internet Safety

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids Internet Safety

Have you ever received a Facebook friend request from someone that you don’t know? Many can answer yes to that question, including our children.

Many traffickers spend time looking for victims on the internet, especially here in America. It often looks like a boy reaching out to a girl on social media and developing an online relationship. Over time, they become “boyfriend and girlfriend.” In extreme cases, the “boyfriend” starts grooming the girl and eventually pulls her into trafficking.

One of the greatest things we can do for our children is help them know how to prevent this from happening. Communication, knowledge, and healthy alternatives are three ways that we can help our children understand the world of trafficking on their level.

1. Developing Communication and Trust

One of the greatest tools in keeping your kids safe from unwanted attention is communicating with them about the issue. For example, you could start by asking them if they have ever gotten a request from someone on social media that they don’t know. Give them the chance to talk about their experience and why they think that person tried to reach out to them. In a non-threatening or accusing way, you can teach them to be aware that you never know who really is on the other side of the screen.

Giving your child the chance to speak up about their experience on social media can help you gauge what you need to help them know what to look for and avoid. Don’t be afraid to be clear and honest with your children about what you feel comfortable with and what you don’t feel comfortable with on the internet.

2. Knowledge is Power

How you explain the dangers of the internet is often done on a case by case basis for each child. Helping them understand how “bad guys” and predators misuse the internet can help them avoid danger. Help your children understand that this is not an issue that just happens far away in a different country, but that it happens here in the U.S. as well. Social media is a part of our daily lives, so helping our children be aware that these “bad buys” target them is important. If they understand the dangers, they will be empowered to know how to communicate in the world around them in the safest way.

Facts to Be Aware Of

The majority of victims in the U.S. are recruited into trafficking by someone they know or trust, or by new “boyfriends.” The traffickers will often pose as a mentor as they work on recruiting the child. Recruitment is the first stage of trafficking. Here are some signs that you can look for in this first phase:

  1. Older adult showing interest in child, asking questions about their life, family, hopes, dreams
  2. Excessive flattery
  3. Buying gifts
  4. Romantic interest, often by someone older

Read more about the stages of trafficking in the post Protecting Our Children from Sex Trafficking

3. Healthy Alternatives

With media being so saturated with information and content, we may just simply need to teach our children how to use social media for good.

Children knowing that their parents are fighting against trafficking can motivate them to learn about it and take a stand against it. It is important to remember that this information can be tailored to your children’s specific needs and level of understanding.

Once our children understand what dangers are out there, they will often be able to figure out how to use social media safely with a little bit of direction from parents. It is not always necessary to explain everything that we know about the dangers out there, but it is necessary to keep open communication. Tim Ballard explained, “I think, in the world of child pornography and sexual abuse of children, I don’t want to be graphic with the kids at all, even with my teenage kids. I kind of let them just figure it out and let their brain stop them where they should be stopped, because the brain will do that.”

Opening up communication about the subject can be a good starting point, and as your children ask questions you can be prepared to answer them and help them with different situations. Taking steps like the ones outlined above can prevent many dangerous situations on the internet. Enabling our children to prevent danger in their own way will strengthen the fight against trafficking.


What can YOU Do?

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For further information on this subject, read 3 Tech Setting You Need to Protect Your Kids Online.

Technology settings to keep kids safe

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Bedding company Malouf teams up with human trafficking prevention group

Bedding company Malouf teams up with human trafficking prevention group

By Kevin Opsahl | Oct 24, 2017 | news.hjnews.com

Nibley-based bedding company Malouf and Operation Underground Railroad have worked together to address the worldwide problem of human trafficking before — now the two entities are ramping up their efforts in some new ways.

Malouf has already provided bedding for aftercare centers of O.U.R., a California-based organization that rescues children all over the world who are victims of human trafficking, the company said in a news release. Soon, the company plans to emphasize collaborative human trafficking efforts when they launch a new product.

“It’s a great position to be in where we’ve got a lot of primary care products, like bedding that people in disasters or unfortunate situations need,” said Sam Malouf, the company’s CEO. “I think all of us were very touched and motivated by the cause of saving kids out of these terrible situations.”

Read full story here.


What can YOU Do?

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We are grateful for the many companies that have joined the fight against trafficking. Read about California Pools, a pool company that donates to O.U.R. every time a new pool is built.

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PRAYER REQUEST: OPERATION IN NEW COUNTRY FOR O.U.R. IN LATIN AMERICA

PRAYER REQUEST: OPERATION IN NEW COUNTRY FOR O.U.R. IN LATIN AMERICA

O.U.R. operators and aftercare specialists are on the ground in a Latin American country right now, preparing to assist local authorities in the liberation of child trafficking victims and in the arrest of the perpetrators. We request your prayers for their safety and success, and we will report on the results of the mission as soon as we can. This is a new country for O.U.R. to operate in, so we are still working with our foreign government partners to build mutual trust.

All prayers and good thoughts are sincerely welcome!

We know we cannot fight this fight alone. Thank you for your support!