Lucy and Ella (names changed) were rescued during Operation Capotillo in 2017 after being exploited by their mother, who would live-stream their sexual abuse to paying westerners. The mother was arrested during this operation and Lucy and Ella are now safe in one of O.U.R.’s partnering aftercare homes.
The anti-human trafficking task force in the Latin American country where this operation took place was able to launch this investigation after an O.U.R. sponsored training held in early 2017.
WHERE LUCY AND ELLA ARE TODAY
On a recent visit to Lucy and Ella’s aftercare home, the O.U.R. Aftercare Team was excited to find them doing very well. O.U.R. recently helped establish a rabbit farm at the aftercare home and the girls were excited to show our team around. Not only does the rabbit meat and fur help generate extra income to support the aftercare home, the farm provides opportunities to teach the girls important vocational skills.
Jessica Mass and Tyler Schwab from the O.U.R. Aftercare Team were also excited to hear how much Lucy and Ella had progressed in learning English. Their tour around the farm was more than just showing the O.U.R. team the bunnies; it was representative of how far the girls had come from being exploited on a webcam to being happy, healthy, and safe.
MORE ABOUT ONLINE EXPLOITATION
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of children exploited online is growing.
“Disturbingly, closed and highly protected online communities dedicated to the sexual abuse of children have proliferated.”U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Many people in impoverished countries use live streaming as a low cost way to make an income. All they need is access to the internet and a webcam, and they have an abundance of anonymous customers all over the world that will pay them for exploitative content through wire transfers and Bitcoin. While the abuse of these children takes place in private homes or apartments, it is visually accessible from anywhere in the world.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Learning the signs of trafficking is vital to recognizing when a child is in danger. Many traffickers and abusers control victims psychologically, making it difficult (but not impossible) to initially recognize the issue. YOU are our eyes, ears, and voice in your community. See below for ways to make a difference near you.
- TAKE OUR FREE ONLINE TRAINING: KNOW THE SIGNS [available in English and Spanish]
- READ OUR COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF WAYS TO JOIN THE FIGHT
- Report online child exploitation: CyberTipline (National Center for Missing and Exploited Kids)
- Report general human trafficking: Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888)
- Report online child exploitation: Find your country’s internet reporting hotline (search tool)
- Report general human trafficking: Global Hotline List