Edge of Faith March 2017 - Page 60

And, in many countries, both the traffickers and the pimps and the people who, the men, who use their services, are protected by laws. One thing we can do is to put pressure on our government to follow Sweden’s example and give the perpetrators certain and hard punishment. In Sweden, when a man is caught, no matter who he is, no matter what his social standing, his name and face are published on the front page of the newspaper and he is hit with a heavy, heavy fine. The second time, he is jailed and that humiliation and those steep fines have dealt a near-fatal blow to the trafficking in Sweden. There is almost no trafficking in that country; one of the very, very few. So what can we do? Well, first of all, we can value women and girls. We can place a value at equal to anyone else on those little ones. No matter what kind of a home they come from or what their families are like. We can also punish the abusers and not the abused and we can make a way out for those who are already caught up in this life. We can have rehabilitation in place, and that includes counseling for the girls who have been trafficked and it includes giving them a place to live, where they are safe, generally not back with their families, because they would be sold again. So, the other thing that it includes is teaching the rescued girls a skill so that they can honestly earn money, support themselves, and in many cases, support their families. And the program that we saw in Nepal is an excellent example of all these things. This is what they do so well, and we saw amazing transformations of girls who had been sold to traffickers, had been in prostitution and then were making a wonderful life for themselves and living testimonies of God’s work in their lives.

Amen. You know, Michelle, now that we are talking about the issue of poverty, which is obviously one of the main drivers, although, I guess, obviously some of the countries that are the consumers are not as poor, but the drivers to that they sell their children is poverty. You know, after years of working with all of these girls and traveling the globe and experiencing the pain that these people live on a daily basis ... what are some of your thoughts on this?

Michelle: Well, my experiences show me and our team, that these Goliaths are best fought community by community where they happen — at grass-roots level and we can fight best with education and economic empowerment. So, we send teams into those communities that are known for selling their girls. So, anyone who is doing anti-trafficking work in North India and Nepal — this is the busiest human trafficking corridor in the world — is familiar with the fact that about 90% of the

Mumbai, India