As the curtain closes on 2012, there are fewer slaves in the global sex trade because a record number of captives was rescued this year by a faith-based group in Colorado.
JOY International, a non-profit whose goal is rescuing children and women held against their wills as sex workers, reports that 118 persons were freed in 2012.
“Our goal for the entire year was 100 and, as you can see, we have gone beyond our goal,” said Dr. Jeff Brodsky of the Conifer-based, Christian ministry.
As founder of JOY International, Brodsky and teams of covert agents have rescued 400 sex slaves from brothels around the world since the group’s inception in 1981.
“While the number of rescues is wonderful, we always try to remember that each number represents an individual child,” Brodsky said.
One of the rescued is Sapna, a 15-year-old from India, who was nearly sold to a brothel by her mother. Because JOY protects the identities of the rescued and their rescuers, Sapna’s last name was withheld.
“I was personally there when she (Sapna) was rescued,” said Brodsky, a former professional clown and messianic Jew who came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1976.
Without intervention by a team of ex-military and law enforcement agents who rescued Sapna, sexual abuse of her body would have enriched her captors and made her life a horrific nightmare, being sold multiple times per day.
A young woman rescued several years ago from a brothel in Thailand is now working as a nursing assistant. The 21-year-old graduated a health care program three months ago.
JOY enlists ex-military and law enforcement officers who willingly risk their lives to rescue children – some as young as 4-years-old – in the $32 billion global sex trade.
In the United States, human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states and some of its territories, as well as in Washington D.C., according to a Department of Education report.
In addition to rescues around the world, teams are also working in the U.S. to free captives here, according to Brodsky.
Two years ago, on July 19, Brodsky led a feeding mission at a garbage dump in Cambodia where all the children – many of them at risk of being taken captive by predators in the sex trade – were barefoot.
Upon returning home, Brodsky told his wife Gail that he was going to go barefoot for a year. These days Brodsky thinks about children before putting on a pair of shoes.
Brodsky said a year ago human trafficking in the sex-for-sale racket was the No. 3 criminal enterprise.
Risking their lives to rescue children requires that JOY’s undercover agents sign waivers before being dispatched to the field.
JOY International can be contacted by phone at 303.952.0252, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, at P.O. Box 571, Conifer, CO, 80433, or online at www.joy.org.