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7 GIRLS RESCUED IN INDIA

7 GIRLS RESCUED IN INDIA

Together with Indian Rescue Mission (IRM), a successful operation just took place that liberated seven victims. We received intel from one of our informants that a male trafficker was selling girls for $75/piece (or 5,000 Rupees). A sting was soon set up with the local police where investigators posed as buyers. After the exchange happened, police were signaled and the raid was successfully conducted. The seven girls were directly sent to the hospital for medical examinations with social workers. They will soon be transferred to a government shelter.


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Did you know that 40% of our operation costs are covered by our recurring Abolitionist donors? For just $5/mo you can help us rescue more children.

SLAVERY DIDN’T END WITH LINCOLN

SLAVERY DIDN’T END WITH LINCOLN

ATTN: is a media-based company, bringing us daily content on topics that matter. Such as the need to end modern-day slavery.

They interviewed Tim Ballard on the similarities O.U.R. has to the original Underground Railroad beyond the name.

Watch the video HERE

“Human Trafficking is a $150 Billion industry worldwide.  That’s enough money to buy the entire Starbucks franchise, every team in the NBA, and still have enough to send every kid in the U.S. to college.” – ATTN:

Check out a list of today’s influential leaders who have joined us in the fight.

 The video also highlights clips from WGN America’s TV series “Underground” which follows a group of slaves who plan their escape from a Georgia plantation in the 1850s.

Season Two premieres tonight, March 8, at 10/9c!

Harriet Tubman, the notorious slave stealer, and her comrades made history in their day.

Isn’t it time we follow suit?


What can YOU Do?

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Join the Abolitionists of yesterday and today.

Share this article. Donate TODAY.

Did you know that 40% of our operation costs are covered by our recurring Abolitionist donors? For just $5/mo you can help us rescue more children.

Undercover in Bangkok: ‘Walking Away Was the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done’

Undercover in Bangkok: ‘Walking Away Was the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done’

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Jason Buttrill, Head Writer/Researcher with ‘The Glenn Beck Program’, about the human trafficking horrors he witnessed in Bangkok.

I recently traveled to Thailand with Glenn Beck to see firsthand the work Operation Underground Railroad is doing to combat human trafficking. More specifically, to see the children who are being bought and sold on a black market that can only be described as pure, unadulterated evil.

I’ve been to most of the corners of the world during my life. I’ve seen pretty much the worst the world has to offer — from my time as a military intelligence agent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to my time as a researcher covering the atrocities ISIS has left behind in Iraq. None of it compares to what I saw one Sunday night in Thailand.

The following is an account of what happened, as best I can remember it. But I have to warn you — this isn’t for the faint of heart. You’re going to be disgusted and angry. God knows I was — and still am. But there is good news: Heroes are out there on the front lines.

Sunday 8:00 PM • A Remote Village in Thailand

I link up with one of agents from Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) — let’s just call him Bob — and make the long drive out to a remote village. Bob is an impressive dude. At around six feet and 220 pounds of muscle, I pity the fool who tangles with him.

But Bob is more than just a tough guy. Bob is a highly competent professional and a true believer in the cause. He cares for children with conviction, and that’s a trait common with every operator in OUR. They’re willing to trade their lives, if needed, to save a child from slavery and bondage. That is exactly Bob’s demeanor as we pull into the “rally point.”

The Rally Point and Plan

The rally point is a safe location just outside the village where we gather information and gear, as well as get briefed on what we were about to do. The target is a small strip of road within the village rumored to be trafficked with children in multiple brothels. I listen as Bob bluntly lays out the scenario. This is not a safe environment. There are some very bad dudes taking advantage of some very innocent kids. Westerners don’t frequent this part of Thailand, so we’ll stick out. Our height alone will make us suspect.

Our cover is as two lost tourists looking for a good time. If we manage to talk our way into one of the brothels and confirm that underage kids are inside, we can take evidence to the Thai police. The problem is locals turn away anyone not from the village — Thai and foreign alike. If you don’t live there, it’s a no go. Bob explains how we’ll first do a drive by of the entire street. If he estimates the danger as manageable, we’ll park and approach the brothels.

Go Time

It’s roughly 8:30 p.m. and the single lane streets in the village are pitch black. Tiny lights from within shanty houses provide the only illumination. Bob turns down the target street and lowers both our sun visors so they provide some cover for our faces. Pretty soon, the brothels come into view, as well as the prostitutes hanging out on porches and in doorways. There are at least eight or so visible brothels, but probably more hidden away. Halfway down the street is an outdoor market and bar where a group of men drink heavily, blitzed out of their minds. We mentally make note of their numbers, estimating about 10 to 15 men, a potential problem, but one we ultimately decide is manageable. Bob gives the okay and parks down the street.

We begin our walk down towards the string of brothels and immediately get into character, beginning to joke around and act like typical, naive tourists out for a good time. We’re smiling and laughing, but simultaneously calculating everything we see.

Two Curious White Guys

At the first brothel, we approach four prostitutes hanging out on the front porch — all barely look 18. It’s difficult to gauge how old they are, but the goal is to charm our way inside and get eyes on what’s inside. Intel collected by OUR describes children of extremely low age on display in the back. These kids are typically kidnapped and sold into slavery. As Bob begins talking to the girls, I’m now less worried about our safety and more concerned about our success. It hits me like a Mack truck that kids’ lives are at stake here, and we can’t screw this up.

The girls are very friendly. We try to converse with them, but the language barrier is holding us back. It becomes pretty clear they’re speaking with us — two white guys — out of curiosity rather than seeing us as potential clients. An older woman inside whispers something to girl number four and she relays that to girls one through three. All conversation stops. They bury their eyes into their phones and refuse to look up. Failure number one.

Heading down the road, Bob surveys the surroundings. Pretty soon we hear a commotion coming from the drinking men. White people don’t come out here, so this must be an odd change in their nightly routine. Some look hostile, but the majority seems more amused than anything else. We keep tabs on them as best we can, and they for sure keep an eye on us.

FaceTiming Madam

Approaching the next brothel, we hope for better results. Bob’s like a machine, perfectly in character while I try to keep up. Like the last brothel, there are about four girls sitting on the porch. I can see through the front door a bit, and there’s a blue light illuminating the interior with hardly any furniture inside. Again, there’s an older woman inside sitting at a small table. She looks to be conducting business on a cell phone and doesn’t seem to notice us at first. These girls are also very friendly and giggling nonstop, making fun of us more than anything else and having fun at our expense. The older woman inside hears the commotion and walks out.

She’s FaceTiming with someone on her phone and holds the camera up to show the person on the other line our faces. While Bob is trying to communicate and gather information, I glance over at the group of men getting trashed and notice they’re watching us intently. This isn’t looking good.

Eventually the girls decide they’ve had enough “fun” and the older woman gives a similar whisper to one of the girls, everything stops. One of the girls gives me a cold stare and then buries her face in her phone. Failure number two.

Bob and I agree the safety situation is getting worse, and we’ve clearly outstayed our welcome. The playful banter has ceased. The drunken men on the street are eyeing us and yelling, and someone has seen us on the older woman’s phone. Time to leave.

I feel extremely deflated, knowing kids are inside living a nightmare, powerless to stop it. Bob on the other hand is business as usual. This is how surveillance and investigations are done, day in and day out. It’s not always sexy. You’re not always kicking in doors and rescuing innocents every day. It takes time and OUR is on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I have no doubt their operatives will bring down that street of horror.

9:30 PM • Somewhere Two Hours From Bangkok

Bob drives while I struggle to stay awake. It’s been a brutal two days work, with just a handful of sleep. I get a text from Tim Ballard, head of OUR, who informs me that two of his deep undercover operatives are working on several big leads. He invites me to tag along. Soon after, I get another text with an address. Two hours later, I say goodbye to Bob and book it on foot through the streets of Bangkok. I head into the seedy underground of Bangkok and the freaks are out to play. Most of the people in this area are prostitutes and Western men looking to pick them up. It’s disgusting.

James Bond

Now 11:45 p.m. or so, I think I’ve arrived at the location to link up with OUR’s undercover operatives. Let’s call them Agent James and Agent Bond — and let me tell you, their namesake would be very proud. These guys are legit. I’ve worked with human intelligence teams in the Middle East, and these two guys could easily lead any of them.

James greets me and gives a quick briefing on the night. Fifty meters up the street is a group of African prostitutes who promise to deliver a 15-year-old within a minute. I get into my assigned character, playing a role that perfectly fits the story they’re running. Thinking I would only be observing from a distance and getting camera footage, this was a bit of a surprise to me, but I was excited for the opportunity to help. I was also looking to have some success after the earlier “failures” with Bob.

I follow James to the group of prostitutes, immediately surprised that many of them speak English, making negotiating much easier than before. James transforms right in front of my eyes, becoming a jerky American looking for underage girls. As promised, the leader of the group motions a little girl over to us. She is also of African descent. The innocence in her face shows she’s not like the others. She wears skimpy clothing and a ton of makeup — just like the others — but keeps her head lowered the entire time, cowering. She stares at her high heels, clearly inexperienced, and hobbles off balance as she walks. Not once did she look the other prostitutes, or us, in the eye.

James keeps the story running, gathering all the information he can and leaving with everything needed to continue the investigation and move on to the next phase. I’m blown away by his skill.

We turn and walk back about 50 meters to our original meeting point. I think we’re done, but he immediately begins briefing me on the next operation. His partner Bond is working another group around the corner, down a seedy back alley. They had worked a source earlier in the day and arranged for the trafficker to bring proof that he had underage kids for sale. He agreed, claiming to have a 12-year-old and a couple of 14-year-olds.

Under the Influence

The plan is the same. I am to play my role, but this time James tells me to sit next to the 12-year-old girl and talk to her while he gets intel from the trafficker. My first thought is, Oh, hell no. There is no way I can pretend to be one of these monsters preying on little kids. It must be the feeling any undercover investigator or operator goes through initially. I had never experienced it before. All of my experience has been in the military, catching enemy combatants and terrorists. This is completely different.

As we walk closer I begin to see the little girl and immediately get a sick feeling in my stomach. She is clearly on some drug, resting her head on a table. James taps her shoulder to wake up, sliding a chair next to her and motioning me to sit down. I want to throw up. She speaks a few words of English, similar to how I speak Spanish: yes, no, hello, thank you. I try to stay in character while, at the same time, say things that might make her feel better. From my right ear, I can hear James negotiating with the trafficker, who explains he has many more kids as young or younger than the 12-year-old sitting next to me. Apparently he could have brought more — but they have school. I almost lose it right then and there. Win the Battle and Lose the War? Plans of action shoot through my mind. This guy was tiny, as were his bodyguards. I could snap their necks in a heartbeat, and we could rescue this girl and she’d be safe. My adrenaline is pumping . . . fists are clenched . . . leg muscles are ready to shoot out of the chair.

My attention is diverted as Bond starts hooting and hollering across the table with two more girls this trafficker has brought in. My nerve is breaking, but his is strong. Did he notice me folding? I never ask him, but I’m glad he got vocal at that moment. It makes me realize there are two more kids here. Not only that, but MANY more back at a secret location James is learning about. I feel helpless, so I continue small talk with this poor girl.

James finishes and motions for Bond to get up. We begin to walk away and the trafficker grabs me by the arm: I got you covered. Many, many more kids. I take one last look at that girl, turn around and walk away.

Walking away was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m not speaking in hyperbole. Walking away changed something inside me that I don’t think I’ll ever get back. It’s gone for good.

Baby Steps

James and Bond explain how this was a crucial meeting, an opening salvo in a long process of gathering information and intelligence to build a case. They held their nerve, as I almost didn’t, and the lives of countless children are at stake. James received a treasure trove of information, one more crucial battle in this long fought war.

The night goes on as I follow James and Bond through the darkest, seediest alleys in Bangkok. I watch and listen as they approach potential traffickers. They are clinical. The way they get information from people seems almost effortless, they’re that good. They get at least one more lead from a madam that brought a 14-year old-girl to show to us. She is dressed like a veteran prostitute while simultaneously clutching a teddy bear.

Our night ends around 2:30 a.m. James and Bond hop in a cab, but I decide to walk back to my hotel. I need time to process.

I thought I had seen and known evil throughout my many travels. Turns out, I knew nothing. This was evil in its purest form. This was the worst humanity has to offer. As I write, I’m still struggling to get the image of that little girl out of my head. She remains in a remote, secret location among many more child slaves. But I know something her captors don’t: OUR and their Thai partners are on their trail. The goal? The liberation of every single child involved in this depravity and the evil men responsible to be thrown in jail. I’m counting the seconds.

 

What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

Share this article. Become an Abolitionist.

Did you know that 40% of our operation costs are covered by our recurring Abolitionist donors? For just $5/mo you can help us rescue more children.

 

Glenn Beck talks about his trip to Thailand with O.U.R.

Glenn Beck talks about his trip to Thailand with O.U.R.

 

This morning, Glenn Beck recaps his experience seeing the realities of child sex trafficking in Thailand where he traveled this past weekend with O.U.R.

“As I left [for Thailand], I saw a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter saying… ‘Why is Glenn going to Thailand and why are you raising money for this when there are so many problems at home?’  Let me explain why.”

Glenn saw American men who abuse children there in Thailand, “and here is why it matters [here]. They come back here, and they are worse than they were.” He compares them to an alcoholic’s mentality; as one “drinking vacation” abroad would not satisfy their addiction, then why would they stop when they return to the states?

Beck goes on to describe the condition of one of O.U.R.’s partnering aftercare facilities, and he donated enough money to keep the orphanage open and hire two full-time doctors for the 56 children the orphanage cares for.

We are grateful for Glenn Beck’s grand gesture and all he does to spread awareness to save these children.

Listen to the show segment here:

 

 

 

What can YOU Do?

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DONATE TODAY

Share this article. Become an Abolitionist.

Did you know that 40% of our operation costs are covered by our recurring Abolitionist donors? For just $5/mo you can help us rescue more children.

Ashton Kutcher tears up as he urges Senate to fight sex slavery

Ashton Kutcher tears up as he urges Senate to fight sex slavery

Ashton Kutcher gave a moving speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about ending sex slavery on Wednesday.

“This is about the time, when I talk about politics, that the Internet trolls tell me to stick to my day job,” the actor said. “I’d like to talk about my day job. My day job is the chairman and the co-founder of Thorn. We built software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. My other day job is that of the father of two, a 2-month old and 2-year-old.”

Kutcher, 39, shares daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri with wife Mila Kunis.

He then described joining the FBI in raids in India, Russia, Mexico and stateside in New Jersey and New York.

“I’ve seen things that no person should ever see,” he said, tearing up. “I’ve seen video content of a child that is the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia. This child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”

               Ashton Kutcher chokes up.

He continued, “I’ve been on the other end of a phone call from my team asking for my help because we had received a call from the Department of Homeland Security, telling us that a 7-year-old girl was being sexually abused and that content was being spread on the Dark Web … They’d watched her for three years and they could not find the perpetrator, [and were] asking us for help. We were the last line of defense. An actor and his foundation were the last line of defense.”

“I had to say no and it devastated me, it haunted me,” Kutcher said, choking up again. “For the next three months I had to go to sleep every night and think about that little girl that was being abused and the fact that if I built the right thing, we could have saved her. Now, if I got that phone call, the answer would be yes.”

He then recalled the story of “Amy,” a 15-year-old girl from Oakland, Calif., who was forced into trafficking within hours of meeting a man in person she’d first talked to online. “This isn’t an isolated incident. There’s not much that’s unusual about it,” Kutcher said. “The only unusual thing is that ‘Amy’ was found and returned to her family within three days using a tool we created … called Spotlight.”

Kutcher said the tool aids police in cutting investigation time by 60 percent, adding, “That’s my day job and I’m sticking to it.”

It wasn’t all heavy: Kutcher and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had a lighthearted moment after his speech. “You were better looking in the movies,” McCain said.

Kutcher, blowing McCain, 80, a kiss, replied, “My wife says that, too.

What Can YOU Do?

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Join us and Ashton Kutcher in this fight against trafficking.  SHARE this article to help spread the word that slavery still exists.

A Thank You from O.U.R. Aftercare

A Thank You from O.U.R. Aftercare

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Loving is easier than it seems. With a little bit of intentionality and partnership YOU can impact the lives of others!

If I were to ask you, “Can you tell me about a memory you have where you felt so much love from another person? Now, can you tell me about a time when you gave love to another?” As we give and receive love we are all encouraged!

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O.U.R. is so grateful for the many volunteers that came out in the middle of a snowstorm for our volunteer event in January to prepare gifts for some of the beautiful survivors here in Salt Lake City! There are many other things that you can do on a snowy Saturday.

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Thanks to doTERRA, many different churches and the nearly 300 incredible volunteers, we were able to hand out 93 bags of hope, blankets and Valentine’s Day cards this past weekend to the incredible women in our own city that have been through so much. Many of the women came up to us with tears in their eyes said, “This has truly been a magical night. Thank you for making us feel valuable and beautiful!” We encourage you today to speak love to your family, a window, a orphan, or a stranger.

You have the gift of change in this world!

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Love Always!

Jessica Mass
O.U.R. Aftercare

OUR Letters of Love

OUR Letters of Love

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February is full of spreading love, and we have a special opportunity for you this month to help our survivors feel loved in a personal way, with your own words! O.U.R. Aftercare will be collecting cards this month to have on hand for future visits at our partnering facilities. Think of how special each child will feel when they open the card that you sent!

STEP 1: WRITE THE LOVE

Everybody loves getting something in the mail, whether it is a homemade or a simple card showing someone was thinking about you. Get your family together for a craft night, or stop by the dollar store and buy a handful of cards to write in.

Here are some examples:
you are lovedSome phrases: “You are Loved” “Have a Great Day!” “You are Beautiful”

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paper hearts

An envelope filled with positive phrases written on each heart

Please, do not include your full name, address, or any other personal information on the card. Do not call attention to their traumatic experience, but keep it sweet and positive. This is not an invitation to become pen pals, thank you!

STEP 2: POST THE LOVE

Take a photo of yourself with your card (or just your card) and post it to social media using #OURLettersofLove.

We will re-post our favorites!

STEP 3: SEND THE LOVE

Email us a scanned image of your card to info@ourrescue.org  or mail them to 138 E. 12300 S. Suite C-149 Draper, UT 84020

We thank you for taking part in #OURLettersofLove – we cannot do this alone!

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Operation Underground Railroad Wins Humanitarian Award

Operation Underground Railroad Wins Humanitarian Award

9th Annual Mobile Excellence Award Winners Announced

Innovators in Mobile Entertainment and Technology Recognized at VIP Events in Hollywood

January 27, 2016, Los Angeles, CA—The Mobile Excellence Awards (MEAs), now in its 9th year, honored the 2016 Best of Mobile winners at two exclusive events attended by leaders representing the entire mobile ecosystem: entertainment, technology, media, and marketing.

Industry luminaries and global media outlets gathered at Soho House–the luxurious private club in West Hollywood–to celebrate achievements by companies and individual executives who have furthered the mobile industry and impacted how the world engages with mobile devices. Winners and key influencers were also treated to a networking breakfast the following morning at Cecconi’s, renowned for its chic environment and power player meetings. 

Known as ‘The Oscars of Mobile’, the MEAs has seen even more dramatic growth in the industry this year, particularly in video. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of innovation and creativity we saw in this year’s entries,” noted Sarah Miller, CEO of Axis PR & Entertainment, who is Executive Producer of the event. “As we enter our 10th year, it’s clear that the determination and sheer brilliance in the leadership of these companies are transforming the world we live in. It’s a fantastic time to be in mobile.”

Awards are greatly coveted, with winners drawn from a high caliber submissions pool from studios, brands, content providers, start-ups, products, carriers, and more. Categories address a range of mobile lifestyle experiences, including everything from video, music, games, social engagement, philanthropy, information, and wellness to shopping. The organization takes pride in recognizing both rising stars and established leaders at the top of their game.  

“We’re very excited that the Mobile Excellence Awards is heading into its 10th year with new partners, sponsors, innovators and leaders who have been instrumental in shaping the future of mobile,” said Miller. “We know that it’s the people who make this the special gala that it is, and appreciate the support from the community and event staff. It’s gratifying that we all share the same commitment to this dynamic industry because we believe in the positive impact mobile has had on our daily lives.”

The 9th Annual Mobile Excellence Awards are produced by Axis PR & Entertainment and sponsored in part by globally recognized companies such as Intel, El Rey Network, AstologyZone,  ITV Alliance and others. More information can also be found at   www.mobilexawards.com.

 

9th Annual Mobile Excellence Award Winners

Best Humanitarian

  Operation Underground Railroad

Industry Star

Intel

Mobile Ambassador

  Anjali Shastri

Best Branded Experience Made for Mobile

   Futurama: Game of Drones 

Best Delivery Platform for Mobile

OpenMarket

Best Entertainment Related Marketing Campaign

       Univision for La Conecta App

Best Mobile Payment/Commerce

   DailyUse Mobile Wallet 

Best Kids Content for Mobile

       Ormco Corporation: Bethany Hamilton Damon Smile Emoji Keyboard

Best Live Streaming or Video for Mobile

AWE

Best Mobile Analytics/Big Data

       Drawbridge App Traction Index

Best Mobile App/Service for Connected Daily Lifestyle

      IHG Translator App

Best Mobile Game(s)

    Futurama: for Game of Drones

Best Mobile Innovator

 Xpose, Inc.

Best Mobile Product

     Huawei for HUAWEI MateBook

Best Mobile Sports

    Augusta National Golf Club and IBM’s 2016 Masters Golf Tournament App

Best Mobile Utility /Productivity Application for on a Smartphone or Tablet

ChatWork

Best Multinational Company

Brandtone

Best Original Content for Mobile

Kings of Fi$h

Best Social Community for Mobile

 CI&T for Sprite RFRSH Na Lata

Best Technology Breakthrough

 Tangoe for Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Best User Experience for Mobile

     SapientNitro for Minneapolis Institute of Art

About Mobile Excellence Awards

The Mobile Excellence Award organization is one of the most coveted and prestigious events in the mobile industry.  Coined as the “Oscars” of Mobile, the MEA organization recognizes and honors leaders  and innovation in mobile entertainment and technology across the globe.  The MEAs produce various high level and high profile events for visionaries and leaders by offering knowledge exchange, peer networking, market intelligence and recognition through various programs throughout the year.  In addition, MEAs’ holds the most prestigious annual awards event in the industry, honoring excellence in all segments of the mobile ecosystem. For more information, please visit www.mobileXawards.com.

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Operation Opened Door

Operation Opened Door

5 Rescued 7 Arrested

Operation Underground Railroad and Indian Rescue Mission (IRM) have successfully collaborated on a rescue operation in Manpada, Thane District, Mahrashtra State of India (suburb of Mumbai). Operators received intel about a hotel where girls were being trafficked and forced into prostitution. The team posted as buyers and verified the intelligence collected. Future information was gathered that these girls were in restricted movement and not allowed to leave the location in which they were being held. This information was passed to the senior police office of Manpada Police station and teams were immediately called to conduct the raid. During the raid it was discovered that the girls were being held in a basement or underground like dungeon without light, toilet facilities or access to the outside world. The price for each girl was Rs.2000 (or $23 US dollars) for 1 hour of sex. Once the girls were rescued they were immediately taken to the hospital for examination. Post examination the girls will be taken to a government shelter determined by the local court. The 7 traffickers have been taken into custody and charged with the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act 3,4, and 5. O.U.R. is so grateful to IRM and all those involved in this successful operation. The real healing begins now and with that comes a new hope for these 5 survivors

TICAC Forensic Laboratory

TICAC Forensic Laboratory

Last month Tim Ballard attended the grand opening of the state of the art Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) Forensic Laboratory. O.U.R. along with the Royal Thai Police teamed up with the F.B.I. and H.S.I. to create this one of a kind lab that will training new police cadets as well as process all digital evidence in child exploitation and human trafficking cases. O.U.R. completely funded the laboratory as well as jump team members to provide training. Because of our efforts this will result in the rescue of thousands and the arrest of their perpetrators