On this episode of the Red X Podcast, Nicole reports on a cyber trafficker from the Philippines brought to justice and International Justice Mission, Whitney Ludlow, helps host. Whitney answers questions about international trafficking.
Lance tells about a date night with Cheryl and exploring his artistic side when the couple took an art class together and painted waves. Then Lance asks the burning question: why is Nicole a vegetarian. Answer: too much daydreaming about her meal and popcorn shrimp nightmares.
Whitney Ludlow joins the Icebreaker in which Lance asks “what annoys you on the road?” Apparently, Nicole and Whitney are NASCAR minivan drivers and enjoy a quick dance at a stoplight.
In the news, International Justice Mission reports on an Australian national man who was convicted of cyber trafficking 15 young victims in the Philippines. A woman was used to recruit the victims and they were kept in the trafficker, Shobbrook’s, home during their victimization in which they were forced to perform sexual acts on camera. The victims testified that foreigners were arranged to abuse them. The youngest victim was only 12. Thanks to the efforts of International Justice Mission, the trafficker and his recruiter are serving life in prison.
Whitney Ludlow first became passionate about ending human trafficking when the reality of vulnerable children set in as an adoptive mother. As she learned about the risks associated with impoverished children, Whitney decided she must join the fight. She is currently an advocate and city chapter leader for International Justice Mission.
Whitney says that there are currently over 40 million men, women, and children trapped in modern day slavery. On the international front, human trafficking is more often referred to as modern day slavery. It can take the form of labor trafficking in brick kilns or cobalt mines or young boys forced to fish all day on the lake in Ghana. Or sex trafficking may occur in brothels.
In developing countries in which poverty is rampant, traffickers can easily prey on the vulnerable by offering false promises of education or a job. Victims are often lured into slavery situation in which they are given a loan of a small amount in American terms, perhaps as little as $20. They are then trapped in a debt bondage that they can never realistically repay as the trafficker then forces the indebted to work but then charges high amounts for providing basic needs. The debt can be insurmountable and is then passed down to the next generation.
As an illegal industry, trafficking brings in $150 billion each year—that’s more than three times the annual profit than Apple. International affects the US as well as victims from impoverished countries are tricked into coming to the US with promises of legitimate employment. Often they are then thrust into the illegal massage business industry, which are actually brothels. International Justice Mission also reported two American men caught for cybertrafficking overseas last year.
International Justice Mission has been leading the fight against modern day slavery. This year the organization celebrates its 20th anniversary. Gary Haugen founded IJM on the premise that if you don’t address justice, you will not be able to sustain poverty elimination efforts. Today IJM has 17 field offices around the world that work closely with local governments to combat trafficking. They help set precedential cases of trafficking prosecutions whereas before traffickers often enjoyed impunity from governments that failed to enforce their anti-trafficking laws.
IJM also helps rescue victims, prosecute their cases and then facilitates the restoration process. Their goal is now to rescue millions and protect half a billion at risk of being trafficked.
With their successful efforts in combating slavery, traffickers have become more adept at eluding being caught. Now, trafficking has moved to being online with cyber trafficking. Australia, the US and UK are the biggest consumers of purchased sex and these countries provide sex tourists who travel to other impoverished countries to purchase sex from minors. Australia has taken the step of prohibiting charged pedophiles from leaving the country. Whitney says that the victims of cybertrafficking are often very young, one recent case involving a 2 year old.
Currently Whitney is leading a team of volunteers in Raleigh to support IJM. The organization needs advocacy, financial support and prayer to help those on the front line. We may never be on the front line, but as Whitney says we can be the heartbeat pumping resources to the ones who are interfacing with victims. You can help lobby your state representatives to request they continue foreign aid to assist in international anti-trafficking efforts. Whitney will be leading a city-wide prayer meeting in Raleigh. Find IJM on Facebook if you’d like to be a congressional mobile advocate in your city or town! Churches can host Freedom Sundays in September to also get involved.
Lance reflects on the shocking amount that trafficking brings in each year. If we address the demand then we can dry up the supply. It’s important to know that even if no money is being spent directly, advertisers pay to be on sites that do host child pornography and cybertrafficking. Even visiting the site can therefore be generating revenue. Also to be explored in future episodes of the RedX are ways that we as consumers can make sure we are supporting companies that do not use slavery in their supply chain. Nicole reflects on the progressive legislation in Australia that prevents pedophiles from leaving the country and supporting human trafficking of children in other countries.