Below is an inside look at how the COVID-19 virus is affecting the trafficking ring. If you subscribe to The Exodus Road newsletter, you'll receive updates about teams across the world with their progress and rescues. This post will cover updates from The Exodus Road from their Email recently. All rights reserved for The Exodus Road.
The Exodus Road Human Trafficking Frontline News and Updates Email
We wanted to reach out to you directly and let you know how your Search + Rescue teams are doing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you all know, these national operatives live all around the world and their communities, too, are feeling the impact of this virus. We asked them last week how they were doing during this global crisis and here’s what they told us.
"Coronavirus has been discovered in all the provinces where our staff lives, but not directly yet in our community or villages. All the schools are closed and meeting places. When people leave the house, everyone is wearing a mask. The government is doing screenings for many of the people going in and out of different provinces. At first, when we heard of the Coronavirus, we were very scared and worried. But now that we know how it is spread, we feel safer. The morale of the Thai team is still good, and we follow the advice of government agencies and doctors and stay away from public places. We cannot deny the large impact this will have on trafficking. Customers (in the sex industry) are afraid that they will get infected, and the government closed all the entertainment venues (brothels, dance bars, etc.) in the country. We are continuing to do online research, but it’s an unusual time for us with many obstacles." - Som Chai*, Thailand
"We do have the virus here in India. The government is worried about the quick spread if it really hits us. We have different news stations and we usually get a lot of different, conflicting information so it is hard to know what is the truth. In our country, so many people don’t know about hygiene and there are so many people living so closely together. I searched for face masks and hand sanitizer for our team and families, but I could not find them anywhere. I eventually bought two masks for a really high price, but that is all I could find. My family bought some extra vegetables, too. This makes our work very difficult. The police partners are slowing down and cannot do any cases and travel is not possible now. We are staying home with our families because the government said that we had to stay in our homes for 21 days. We will be with our families now, and we will pray. The people I am most worried about are the victims. Who is going to take care of them right now? My heart breaks for that. It is our responsibility to help them, and I am very worried about them." - Adil*, India
"The virus is in our country and it was all imported from travelers from other places. The government has asked all senior citizens to stay confined at home until May 31, and they have closed all schools and meeting places of more than 50 people. Most people have to work from home, and we also have a curfew that is throughout the whole country. It has a huge impact on our work. Investigators are supposed to do their job in the field, but the “battlefield” is closed. Active cases/investigations were suspended, even major new operations that were about to start.
Authorities, including law enforcement, were ordered to focus on public health activities as priorities, and as long as touristic places and transportation continues to be restricted, our investigations will be very slow. At the same time, this will give the team a chance to do what special forces do before deployments: training, learning, refining, drilling, and training. We are mostly concerned right now for the victims. If we are confined and safe, who will look after them? We, as a team, have spoken a lot about this. We are also really concerned for our law enforcement partners." - Mario*, Latin America
At this time, our Search + Rescue Teams and their families, like most of the world, are being asked to stay home. They are continuing to do online research and team development during this time, but we have asked them to keep their own health and safety a top priority. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts, as this is an uncertain time for everyone. We will keep you updated regularly on the impact of COVID-19 on these courageous men and women whom you are empowering on the front lines. With deep gratitude, Laura ParkerCo-Founder, PresidentP.S. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to jump into our private online Facebook group for Search + Rescue monthly supporters. We share content about your teams and their impact over there, and it’s an easy way for you to connect with each other, as well. *All names are representative to protect the identities of our operatives.
For more human trafficking frontline news and similar articles, please see the below references.
The Value of Fear
The Fight to Preserve Freedom
Lending a Hand
Below are details about how your everyday efforts can stretch outside of the home and help someone else's life. A video is included about The Exodus Road's humble beginnings.
About the Exodus Road
Inside a Rescue: The Story of Noi. All rights reserved to The Exodus Road
Stories From The Front Lines: "Every Other Day." All rights reserved for The Exodus Road
The numbers of the victims of human trafficking and the stories behind the numbers are why Blissful Faith is partnering with nonprofit organizations to help fund rescues and recovery programs for those entrapped in bondage. Each number is a person. You can be the one to help make a difference by purchasing a shirt (coming soon to the blog in a few weeks) or by ordering a downloadable product currently in the store, in which proceeds will go to nonprofits that seek to give a voice to the voiceless. See more on human trafficking from my previous articles below:
The Price of Freedom
Blissful Faith started as a lifestyle and branched into a blog to help others hear about Jesus Christ and how they too can develop a blissful faith through knowing God. This blog’s purpose is to be an evangelical outreach to further the kingdom of Christ. Furthering the kingdom means stretching outside of the comfort zone, comprehending and working towards meeting the needs of others. Putting faith to action keeps it from becoming stagnant.
Blissful Faith Merchandise
The Blissful Faith Merchandise store helps both this blog to grow and to meet the needs of others. About 8-10% of the proceeds will go to The Exodus Road and Agape International Missions to help combat human trafficking. The funds will help assist in rescue operations, providing shelter, and recovery programs to those in bondage.