Rescue. That is the call to action for Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), a non-profit group specialize in anti-child trafficking. Founded in 2013 by Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security Agent specializing in child trafficking, the group hopes to help those caught in what is now one of the fastest growing international crimes.
Here are some stats on human trafficking:
- Human trafficking is the 3rd largest international crime industry, behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking.
- It generates around $32 billion dollars every year in profit
- By some estimates, as many as 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world.
- Of those 27 millions, it is estimated that 13 million are children.
- The average age of victims forced into slavery is 12-14 years old.
- It is estimated that over 100,000 children are currently in a human trafficking situation in the United States.
If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch a documentary about OUR, called “Operation Toussaint“. The documentary follows the team through the difficult and dangerous work they do to rescue children. It also goes into Ballard’s background and what led to the formation of OUR.
Side note: Operation Toussaint, which takes place in Haiti, is named after Toussaint Louverture. Louverture was a Haitian general and best known for his leadership in the Haitian Rebellion and in the abolition of slavery in Haiti.
I recently watched documentary with my wife and older children. While I was disheartened by the depravity of some (actually far too many), I was strengthened and buoyed by the tremendous courage of others. These men and women put themselves into the deepest, darkest places to rescue the most vulnerable and precious among us. I couldn’t help but come away with a greater appreciation for their efforts and a renewed fervor to join the fight.
While I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children, I do, and have recommended it to friends with teenagers.
Music to Bring Awareness
I’m a firm believer that music speaks volumes. Music has the capacity to move us to action. So it’s no surprise that OUR called upon many talented musicians to help spread their message and help raise awareness of child trafficking.
OUR recently hosted a Benefit Concert called “Rise Up For Children.” You can watch the entire concert here.
Some of the Operation Underground Railroad Ambassadors just released a new video as well. The song is a cover of Lauren Daigle’s “Rescue.” Prominently featured in the video are John Schmidt (of the Piano Guys), Yahosh Bonner, David Osmond, Alex Boye, Ryan Inness and Lexi Walker.
What Can I Do?
Operation Underground Railroad offers some options for those who wish to join the fight against child slavery. You can donate, volunteer to help, or even host an event. If you are interested in any of these, you can visit their website at www.ourrescue.org to get more information.