Forced labor of any sort is considered human trafficking, whether internal to the exploited person’s native country or transported into another country where they were forced to work. Myanmar (Burma) is a source country for human trafficking – both internally and externally (http://www.humantrafficking.org/countries/burma).
ACM exists to serve children vulnerable to exploitation in Myanmar. We work in areas where impoverished children are often conscripted into military service. A ten year old girl who is now living at an Asian Children’s Mission orphanage wrote this about boys in her village being conscripted: “Every boy has to carry the guns, booms and everything they have to use at the battle.”
And of course, there is the sex trade. Many of our girls who lived in the remote border areas were at risk for being sold into either a brothel or a forced marriage before they came to live at Hope or Loving Fountain.
While many wonderful organizations are involved with the rescue of people caught up in this evil, Asian Children’s Mission has made the strategic choice to focus our efforts on prevention rather than rescue – it is the “stitch in time” that saves…
When A Child Isn’t Rescued
This girl was lured to Thailand for a better job — and ended up being sold to a brothel. The continuing rapes resulted in this 16 year old becoming pregnant, and she was turned out to the streets. She was rescued by a sister Christian mission working on the Thai/Burma border. ACM paid for her care and safe delivery of the child. The little boy was adopted by a Thai family. She is afraid to return to her family because she was a prostitute.
Ngwa Mee was adopted when she was three years old. She said her adopted mom beat her and sometimes would not feed her for 2 or 3 days. Finally, she was sold to a man in China, but she ran away. She lived in the jungle for ten days, surviving by hiding in holes in the ground and eating fruit brought by jungle rats. She testified that God helped her to survive to inform the authorities about her problem. Her parents were to be arrested and put in jail, but they escaped. She has been reunited with her older sister, who was also adopted by another family in Yangon. She is nearly blind from years of abuse.
There are pockets of fighting in Myanmar. In these areas, children are at risk of losing their chance for education, becoming refugees or even being conscripted into the army. The 10 year old girl pictured here told of watching the boys in her village being forced to carry guns and ammunition into battle, and running for her life at night. She did survive the harrowing experience, and is now living at Loving Fountain. Many other children are still trying to survive under these conditions.
Every girl who is living at one of the ACM orphanages or getting an education through our schools is NOT at risk for the human trafficking epidemic that has destroys the life of so many young girls. A stitch in time…