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5 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking With #Freedom4All

5 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking With #Freedom4All

#Freedom4All is a campaign Operation Underground Railroad runs every summer until July 4th to increase awareness of modern day slavery and our fight for freedom worldwide.

“July is a time that we reflect on independence and freedom; it is a time that we remember the high price our forefathers paid for our liberty. The #Freedom4All campaign was born to remind us that, although we enjoy unparalleled freedom, over two million children in the world are trapped in sexual slavery. O.U.R’s primary purpose is to rescue and rehabilitate these innocent children,” says O.U.R. Founder and CEO Tim Ballard.

So without further ado, here are the five ways you can help us spread awareness of human trafficking and fight for #Freedom4All!

1. Show It on Social Media!

This is the fastest and easiest way to show your support! For Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, show your support with our Freedom 4 All images.  This will give your followers a chance to learn about human trafficking and further inspire them to do something about it.

For Facebook, we will have a custom #Freedom4All frame to use with your profile picture – coming soon!

For Twitter and Instagram, we have custom #Freedom4All images just for this campaign for you to post. Check them out here. Make sure to repost, retweet, and SHARE from all of our social media channels @ourrescue and use #Freedom4All to spread the word!

 

2. Sign Up for Thunderclap!

There is a LOT of noise when it comes to posting on social media, so it’s not always easy to ensure our message of freedom is heard. By signing up for Thunderclap, you allow us to share a single message “flash mob-style” on your page.

Last year 518 people signed up for Thunderclap, reaching 720,978 people, meaning 720,978 people heard our message of freedom! This year our goal is to reach at least 1,000 Thunderclap sign-ups! Will you help us reach our goal? Sign up here.

3. Sport the Movement!

There are more ways to spread awareness outside of social media. O.U.R.’s custom #Freedom4All shirt definitely has a patriotic vibe, making it an ideal choice for your 4th of July festivities and will surely pique the curiosity of those around you. It’s an easy conversation-starter to help you share our mission of rescuing children from human trafficking. 100% of your purchase will be donated to the cause. Click here to purchase.

4. Don’t Miss Our #Freedom4All 2017: Message of Freedom!

O.U.R. founder and CEO, Tim Ballard, will be giving a special address on fighting for freedom. His words will inspire you and to those you share. Check out the motivational address he gave for the 2015 #Freedom4All Campaign:

“Slavery does exist today and its tentacles reach further and deeper than most of us realize, with its victims barely surviving in unthinkable darkness. The #Freedom4All campaign is a movement that will shine a light into this darkness and provide a way for each of us to eradicate this evil.”

5. Donate For Freedom!

Everything O.U.R. does to rescue and rehabilitate children is only possible through your donations. Although steps 1-4 help spread awareness, funding is what makes rescue operations possible. You can either donate once, or you can sign up to Be An Abolitionist and donate as little as $5 every month. $5 seems like a small chunk of change, over 6,000 Abolitionists contribute to over 40% of all operational costs. Click here to become an Abolitionist today!

 

Thank you for spreading the message of freedom this summer!

 

ABOUT OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is a non-profit organization that rescues kidnapped children from slavery. O.U.R. rescue teams (called “Jump Teams”) are comprised of highly skilled ex-Navy Seal’s, CIA and other operatives. These teams work in conjunction with and in full cooperation with local police forces and foreign governments to liberate children around the world.

The original Underground Railroad was a network that existed in nineteenth century America to liberate African slaves. Today, slavery has a new face: the face of an innocent child. Slavery’s victims today include nearly two million precious children throughout the world. They are slaves, exploited for sex.

The symbol of the Underground Railroad shines through the darkness that surrounds these poor children and offers hope and freedom to children that are abused daily. Thousands of these children are imported every year from third world countries to developed countries, such as the United States and Canada. Operation Underground Railroad can rescue and save them from the horrors of slavery. This is its mission!

O.U.R. rescues these children and delivers them to safe havens that offer freedom and rehabilitation. In the process, O.U.R. expert rescue teams break the avaricious organizations that exploit these children and deliver the perpetrators to justice and jail. Using cutting-edge computer technology and human intelligence, O.U.R. rescue teams go into the darkest corners of the world to help local law enforcement liberate enslaved children and dismantle the criminal networks. www.ourrescue.org #freedom4all

 

 

Blake Lively Speaks Out Against Child Pornography

Blake Lively Speaks Out Against Child Pornography

It isn’t very often that a Hollywood star speaks out about the realities of child pornography during an awards ceremony. Blake Lively did just that for a surprising eight minutes during Variety’s Power of Women: New York on Friday.  As an honoree, she spoke in support of Child Rescue Coalition, which finds and exposes IP addresses of producers and viewers of online child exploitation.

She touches on her experience when a law enforcement officer gave her the devastating details.

“I was afraid to ask as a mother, you know, because it would be painful to hear, and I felt like I had to ask though, and I feel like I have to share it with you guys now. It is disturbing and I want to warn you, but I feel that it is my responsibility to tell you guys because it is the truth and I believe that if we all knew this, we would dedicate much more of ourselves to stopping it.”

“It isn’t happening rarely, it’s not happening worlds away, it’s happening here and right now.”

Here are some of the hard facts she mentions:

There are 30-50 million files traded on the net per day.

Only 10% of children speak up when abused.

The average abuser abuses between 50 and 100 children in their lifetime.

Lively raises a call to action, hoping big names can work to expose this industry together.

We commend Child Rescue Coalition for their influential role in assisting law enforcement to expose this evil, and we admire Blake Lively for using her voice to help more people understand what can and needs to be done to stop it.


What can YOU Do?

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Because of technology today, child exploitation unfortunately has no boundaries. What will we do to stop it?

We hope this woman’s speech inspired you as much as it inspired us. SHARE this story.

 

Human Trafficking Survivor Builds Rehab Home

Human Trafficking Survivor Builds Rehab Home

This human trafficking survivor isn’t just fixing up a house for other women like her, she’s aiming to provide them a safe haven from the life she once knew.

“I don’t want to see the women having to go back to the lifestyle from which they came,” Barb Freeman said, founder of The Freeman Project in Columbus, Ohio.

Freeman’s mission is to give a home to human trafficking survivors as they transition from local rehabilitation and correction facilities. Because of these efforts, she was named the Woman of Achievement in 2014 by the YWCA.

She’s not alone in this great feat. About twenty-five volunteers from her community and the local Union of Painters and Allied Trades have been working alongside her in restoring the three-story home.

At least four women have already been promised a place in the home, but Freeman won’t stop there: she plans to purchase the abandoned apartment complex across the street.

As Freeman works to educate her community about human trafficking, she says, “[I’m] just taking everything that someone has given to me and I’m giving back. I’m paying it forward.”

Freeman expects renovations to be complete by August.

For more on this story, visit 10tv.com

(Images from 10tv.com)


What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

Whether you’ve been given a fresh start in life or feel inspired to join the fight, you can follow this woman’s example to pay it forward.
Go to yourrescue.org to start your own fundraising campaign or project today!
Spread the word. SHARE this article. 

 

STRENGTH IN PRAYERS, GOOD THOUGHTS, AND LOVE

STRENGTH IN PRAYERS, GOOD THOUGHTS, AND LOVE

It is no secret that several members of the Operation Underground Railroad team are spiritual in their own ways. Many of our operators pray together while out on a rescue operation, while others choose to meditate or worship in their own way. Some of our Aftercare homes also have a religious base and will often send us prayer requests depending on their needs at that time.

Because of that, we welcome your prayers, positive thoughts, or energy to strengthen our various efforts- from success in our rescue operations, to health and a better future for our teenage survivors and their babies.

We are creating a specific list for those who would like to join!

Let’s stand together with our operators, Aftercare homes and survivors in this battle to lift them up in prayer, thoughts and most of all in love.

By signing up for this list, we will inform you of prayer requests from our Operators or Aftercare specialists who are facing unique challenges.

Subscribe by texting “OURPRAYERS” to 51555, or enter your contact information below.

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Domestic Violence Center in Kansas Trains Employees to Help Victims of Trafficking

Domestic Violence Center in Kansas Trains Employees to Help Victims of Trafficking

In the span of a year, dozens of human-trafficking victims are expected to seek shelter at The Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence, Kansas. And soon, the link to help could be a city employee.

A new initiative will train city employees to recognize human trafficking, with the goal of improving the outcomes of the vulnerable youth who are typically victims. Leaders at the Willow Center give a possible scenario of what happens when girls age out of the foster care system, lacking family and resources.

“Let’s say you’re a girl or very young woman, and a man approaches you: ‘Well, I’ll buy you this, I’ll get your nails done, I’ll have your hair done, you’re beautiful’ — all of these things that she has never had before, and she becomes attached to this man,” said Willow Center Executive Director Joan Schultz.

“Then he starts to traffic her, and how is she going to get out, especially if he threatens her with her life?”

Human trafficking is often called a modern form of slavery. With millions of victims, human trafficking is believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world, according to the FBI. Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to control victims, and crimes include forced labor, domestic servitude and commercial sex trafficking.

 

For the full article, visit www2.ljworld.com (Photo source: Mike Yoder of LJWorld.com)

New Kentucky Law Requires Human Trafficking Hotline in Schools

New Kentucky Law Requires Human Trafficking Hotline in Schools

 

The director of Kentucky’s Center for School Safety applauds legislative efforts to bring more attention to problems associated with human trafficking.   One provision pertains to schools across the Commonwealth.

House bill 524, signed into law last week by Governor Bevin, requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to administer a hotline number to be posted in schools. Center for School Safety Director Jon Akers says, students are increasingly breaking the so-called “code of silence.” “With kids talking about it a little bit more and more a friend might be someone who alert officials that their friend or their buddy is being groomed for something like this,” said Akers

For the full news story and audio, please visit weku.fm (image source: shutterstock.com)


What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

Do you want to help spread awareness and protect youth from human trafficking?
Share this post, become a volunteer.

 

Thai and U.S. Networks Unite in Finding Missing and Exploited Children

Thai and U.S. Networks Unite in Finding Missing and Exploited Children

After signing an agreement in the United States on the Cyber Tipline Remote Access Policy, Thai authorities will now be able to access reports from the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman, Busadee Santipitaks, Pol Col Gen Tamask, head of Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (TICAC), signed the agreement with NCMEC president and CEO, John Clark, at the NCMEC’s office in Virginia on Monday.

As TICAC and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are setting up the systems to work together, the task force is recruiting and making preparations for officer training, said Pol Lt. Gen Tamask. He also told the Bangkok Post that the TICAC staff will grow from four to fifteen.

TICAC began in 2015, and has already worked with both the FBI and HSI. Previously,  HSI would send about thirty reports to TICAC a year, he said.

Take a look at the ICAC center in Thailand, which opened earlier this year through collaboration and funding from O.U.R. :

 

Those who witnessed for the report signing included the U.S. State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the HSI, representatives from the Thai embassy in Washington D.C., Royal Thai Police Commissioner of Legal Affairs and Litigation Pol Lt Gen Jaruvat Vaisaya, and the acting deputy assistant director, HSI International Operations David Prince.

Thai ambassador to the U.S., Pisan Manawapat, claims that this agreement reveals the strong partnership between Thailand and the U.S. to end child exploitation and guarantee that criminals are brought to justice.

According to Busadee, this information has brought success to investigations of human trafficking.

For the original news post, visit bangkokpost.com

 

Even in the American Food Industry, Slavery Still Exists

Even in the American Food Industry, Slavery Still Exists

The following article features a new report by Polaris, an organization that fights human trafficking and helps survivors.

Drawn in by false promises of good employment and legal immigration, human trafficking victims are smuggled from different parts of the world into the United States as forced labor for restaurants, bars, food trucks, and everything in between. They are forced to live in terrible conditions, enslaved in debt.

In the same report, Polaris takes the human trafficking that occurs in the U.S. and breaks it down into 25 different business models. Not only does it occur in the food industry, but in salons, hotels, and so on.

“Because human trafficking is so diverse … you can’t fight it all at once and there are no single, silver bullet solutions. You have to … fight it type by type,” Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris, told reporters. “We see this report as a major breakthrough in the field.”

Aiming to identify human traffickers, their victims, and their methods; Polaris has examined 32,208 human trafficking reports as well as 10,085 forced labor reports from 2007 to 2016.

According to Janet Drake, a senior assistant attorney general in Colorado and former prosecutor of human trafficking cases, Only 16% of hotline calls involved labor trafficking. She says, “But now we realize through the work we’ve done that labor trafficking is probably at least as prevalent, if not more so, than sex trafficking. And that’s a real problem we’ve had as prosecutors – being able to identify and disrupt these labor trafficking networks.”

Out of the 25 categories, three were involved in the food industry. Specifically, the categories were restaurants, bars, and agriculture.

Those who were forced to work in agriculture were commonly drawn in with promises of getting paid at an hourly rate- only to be paid significantly less and be denied healthcare, safety in their work environments, and decent living as they suffered in miserable conditions.

In restaurants where human trafficking occurred, 1 in 5 were minors and performed nearly every task.

Some have even been forced into supplying both sex and servitude. Not only were they tricked with promises of good pay and safe immigration, but with intimate relationships. According to Jennifer Penrose, data analysis director for Polaris and co-author of the report, they are required to sell drinks as well as sex at bars or cantinas.

If these victims did not continue to comply, their traffickers threatened them with deportation. At times even threatening to hurt loved ones at home.

“Potentially, restaurant trafficking may be much higher than we’re learning about, but we’re just not getting enough of those hotline calls to be able to describe that,” Myles has noted.

See full article at npr.org

WHAT O.U.R. HAD TO SAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS

WHAT O.U.R. HAD TO SAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Last week O.U.R. was invited to attend and present at an event with the Holy See at the United Nations in New York, titled,

“Economically Empowering Trafficking Survivors to Stay Permanently Off the Streets.”

To view the video of the event, click here.

(Presentation by O.U.R. begins at the 33 minute mark.)

Jon Lines, EVP of Operations for O.U.R., spoke as a member of the panel.

Here are some excerpts from the presentation:

Along with our very own Jon Lines, presentations were also given by the following leaders:

Archbishop Auza

Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

Peter DiMarzio

Victims Assistant Coordinator within the Human Trafficking and Cyber Crime Unit of Homeland Security

Nancy Rivard

President and Founder of Airline Ambassadors

We’d like to thank Archbishop Auza for inviting us to be part of the conversation. It is inspiring to come together in the same room with  other organizations to hear what we are all doing to save, protect, and empower victims of sex trafficking.

(Images courtesy of The Holy See)

Texas Wants to Help Truckers Identify Human Trafficking

Texas Wants to Help Truckers Identify Human Trafficking

WACO, Texas (KWTX) There are over 300,000 people currently being trafficked in Texas, according to the Truckers Against Trafficking. Now, state lawmakers are looking at a bill that could help fight human trafficking.

Texas Senate Bill 128 would require drivers applying for commercial driver’s licenses to complete a training program about how to recognize the signs of human trafficking throughout their routes and stops.

“Traffickers like to brand their victims as property, so if they have a man’s name or a street name tattooed on them in various places or a dollar sign or a money bag, those could be things to look for,” Natalie Garnett, the Assistant National Coordinator at local anti-trafficking organization Unbound, said.

Since the beginning of Truckers Against Trafficking, over 1,500 calls have been made, leading to the rescue of 1,000 victims.

Read the rest of this story at kwtx.com