Where the profits go: Who are O.U.R?

As you may know, the profits from our venture are donated to Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) – but who are OUR? What do they do?

I’ll start with an excerpt from the debrief of Operation Whale Watch, which was carried out in Latin America and resulted in the rescue of 24 children and the arrest of 5 perpetrators:

“The girls started arriving at the party. It was clear to the ops team that many of them were reluctant to be there. In fact, they had overheard the traffickers telling the Madam, ‘You have to force the girls to be there.’… Negotiations never seem to go smoothly. When there is a lot of money involved and the stakes are high, emotions run high too. They were trying to get the maximum price from us for the girls, they believed we were stupid tourists. They were trying to get $1000 U.S. per girl. That is the highest price we’ve been charged. Normally it’s between $200 to $300. One thousand dollars is the price of a virgin. And they lied to us saying many were under age”.

Reading that may make your blood boil.


Operation Underground Railroad are an organisation that exist to rescue children from sex trafficking. They operate worldwide and have rescued 529 victims and prosecuted more than 182 traffickers within just two years of operation. Their message to children is “Hold on. We are on the way” and the message to perpetrators is “Be Afraid. We are coming”.

In 2015, Operation Underground Railroad carried out operations in India, The Dominican Republic, Uganda, Mexico, Haiti and The United States of America – they pave the way for the permanent eradication of child sex trafficking through coordinated rescues and recovery planning. OUR was founded as a not for profit organisation in 2013 by Tim Ballard and the organisation engages in covert operations with jump teams consisting of former CIA agents, Ex-Navy Seals,  Special Forces members and medical personnel –  making them experts in rescue operations.


OUR are privately owned – meaning there are few bureaucratic hurdles or “red tape”, meaning that planning and extraction operations are swift and effective. They work alongside local and foreign governments and forge solid and long-term relationships with the local law enforcement – in turn providing them software and training them in catching traffickers; ultimately providing a long term solution and ensuring less children are victims of sex slavery and sex tourism.


Tim Ballard himself is an ex U.S. Homeland Security Special Agent , having served 12 years on the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force and the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. To his frustration, as a U.S. Agent, Ballard was not permitted to rescue children if the case could not be tried in a U.S. Court or did not involve a U.S. Citizen – causing him to establish Operation Underground Railroad.

When asked about his commitment to the mission and his drive, Ballard reflects on one of his first cases;

“This little boy was being violated in the worst possible way,” he recalls. “I was the first agent on the scene, and he jumped into my arms and wouldn’t let go. I came home that night and collapsed on the floor and cried like a baby”… “I told my wife, ‘I can’t do this.’ These children are being kidnapped and raped. There is nothing worse on earth. There is nothing worse in hell.”… noting that “I made a commitment to God and to that little boy that I would do everything I could, even if it killed me.”


Operation Underground Railroad engages in missions worldwide – and are on the frontline. This is why they’re our partner of choice – this is where the funds go and these are the people that will liberate the children. The children are looked after through a program called “Aftercare”.

Every flannel you purchase saves a life from being destroyed.

Join us. Fight the good fight.

– Jaz


Some more links:       

A bit more about OUR: http://ourrescue.org/files/1453832490aebf183e6dd87045e259ee44614ac8c1.pdf

A bit about Tim Ballard:

Operation Whale Watch Debreif/Story:


Aftercare in Action

Why I’m part of this fight.

After hearing about my involvement in Freedom Flannels, one of my close friends approached me. She said “I had no idea you cared about these things”… and I thought to myself “I had no idea I care this much about these things”. Truth is, I’ve always cared, but I’ve never done anything about it. I’ve always held these things close to my chest but, like many others, I hid from the reality of the situation and adopted the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy.

So, why now? When I heard Alex present his speech, I knew I was on board. After hearing the facts, I did a little digging and watched a few videos – and it was then I knew that I couldn’t do nothing.

Truth is, I’ve come from a place where human trafficking is a norm – I spent much of my childhood there. It’s not something people want to be involved in, but it exists and nobody has the courage to do anything about it. When I was younger, I went to schools with kids that just randomly vanished. We asked questions for a day or two, but it wasn’t long till those children were forgotten. People knew these things happened, and they just sort of accepted it. No one fought, no one looked hard enough and not many made a difference. And after watching these videos and reading the facts; I couldn’t help but think of what these children went through. It hit close to home.

You might think that child sex trafficking isn’t a global problem, you may believe that it’s only a criminal enterprise that exists in the third world. This isn’t the case – in fact, there are between 14,500 and 17,500 humans being trafficked into the US annually. Of this, 50% and over are minors – and the average age of a victim is 12 years old. The global market of child trafficking is worth over $12 billion a year with over 1.2 million child victims. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise worldwide – and in the words of Tim Ballard, “good people just don’t know how vast the problem really is”.


What do we do about it? What can you do about it? We fight for these children – we bring you products and the profits are funnelled directly into operations that rescue the victims and bring justice to the perpetrators. Your efforts, purchases and you spreading the word helps us fight. It helps us raise awareness and it gets people to drop the “out of sight, out of mind philosophy”.

So, why now? Well, why not now? I’m part of the fight – I can’t let my inaction destroy the lives of these children. I’m part of this for the forgotten children that I never asked again about.
I’m here for their families, all the people that couldn’t stop asking about them.
I’m here to make sure that one day, every child will be safe from this.
I’m here to make child sex slavery a bitter memory.
I’m here to create a better future for these children.
I’m here to make a difference as part of Freedom Flannels.

Join us; help us fight the good fight.


The Lucky Country

Here in Australia we don’t really hear or see many confronting issues like human trafficking, terrorism or war in our own country. We don’t usually leave the house each day to grab groceries and imagine of not returning to our family as we are lucky to be in a well developed country. People that travel can surely appreciate where we live more after they have seen some conditions overseas?

This happens on a regular occurrence overseas where people are taken off the street and are forced into tough labouring jobs. They may also be used in war where they see and experience a lifetime of violence in a rapid learning curve. Mounting pressure from the global economy will only further drive things like slavery as people will pursue whatever means they see fit to continue working to earn something to help their loved ones whatever and however they can. Wouldn’t you try and do whatever you could for the ones you love?

These people involved in slavery have no say where they work or are put around the world, compared to how Australia operates. We have the luxuries of living with education, safety and security in our communities that we take as a given. Most of us now choose where we work, what hours we work and when we work due to advancements we’ve seen in technology making our lives easier and more versatile so we can spend more time with friends and family whilst adding globalization.

I’m sure we can appreciate what we have in Australia that aid our daily lives and make It easier for us to live and work in communities as we look out for one another. We want to help save people affected by slavery and human trafficking so people can feel safe in their own country as they should.

The link below is for an interview with people that have been directly involved in human trafficking to portray the environment people are exposed to.




Human Trafficking Stats

Before we all get too wrapped up in buying the next iPhone and getting that next COD game that we talk about to all our friends when we hear of it, spare a thought for the people involved in Human trafficking.

  • Fastest growing means of enslavery and fastest growing international crime
  • Almost 140,00 people can be in the cycle of violence, abuse and degradation across Europe
  • 2/3 of reported victims are women
  • Most reported cases are victims moved over international borders

Now as you may be wondering these numbers are approximates and this is because it is not easy to track exact figures. Think about it if we knew exact numbers then this would have probably been stopped already and we wouldn’t be blogging about it.


Now if you have seen the Taken movie franchise you would probably take for granted that this is a movie all about “f1d1bded-03bb-456b-98aa-fa9524218fc49eaf7a82-935c-40a9-aa7b-c2e5d6caaaae

I will find you, and I will kill you”. This whole franchise exposes the world of human trafficking believe it or not.

So consider what impact you can have in this largest source of illegal income globally only to be second behind drug trafficking.



#slavery #globalissue #saveme

Why Does Human Trafficking Exist?

Why in the 21st century does human trafficking still exist? For the very same reason that drug mafias still exist! Human trafficking is a highly sophisticated, organised crime and one that’s financially lucrative.

Human Trafficking is the third most profitable business stream for organised crime, and has a much lower risk than smuggling drugs or arms.

The lack of protection and access to employment and education, discrimination of minorities and cultural practices as well as poverty are all factors that leave people vulnerable to being exploited. They are more easily manipulated, tricked or forced by traffickers into exploitative situations. Sadly, trafficked people often do not understand that what’s happening to them is a crime. They themselves are in crisis and often are too scared to speak.

The only way that human trafficking can be eradicated is by Prevention, Prosecution and Protection.

Prevention needs to include the provisions of robust labor law enforcement, particularly in key sectors where trafficking is most typically found, while also reducing demand for commercial sex.

Identifying victims is a critical first step in Protection. After identification, governments should make the rights and needs of victims a priority to ensure that Protection efforts restore a survivor’s dignity and provide an opportunity for a safe and productive life.

What is devastating is that the victims are often arrested along with their traffickers on prostitution or illegal immigration charges. What really stinks is that through corruption, those committing these appalling crimes usually spend LESS time in jail!

There are several ways you can help to end this cruel journey!

Raising AWARENESS is good but ACTION is required. Awareness must lead to Action!

Donate to one of the many organisations that support raising AWARENESS & taking ACTION against Human Trafficking.

Together we can eradicate this terrible crime.

To see just how big of an issue human trafficking is, visit this site: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-human-trafficking

Gavin Cachia – Freedom Flannels
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End Modern Day Slavery

When modern society mentions the word slavery, we think of the atrocious conditions faced by coloured Americans during the middle ages and would be forgiven for thinking that slavery is no longer an issue, right?

If you were then to learn that today, tens of millions of people are enslaved worldwide, how would you react?  Almost 20% of slavery victims are children, held not only against their will but helpless to fight against exploitation. If you were then to learn that this slavery resulted in human trafficking mostly for sexual exploitation, what thoughts does this conjure for you?

Well, if you were like me the terms human trafficking and sex slavery usually conjure up images of young girls beaten and abused in places like Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Have you seen the movie ‘Taken’? This kick ass film first highlighted to me the reality of human trafficking. It pretty much told me that unless you have the “particular set of skills” that Liam Neeson possesses you’ve got naff all chance of ever seeing your daughter again!

It’s hard to believe but human trafficking and sex slavery is occurring in our very own backyards. We’re oblivious to the prevalence of this problem in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout our most developed nations. ‘Taken’ very entertainingly highlights this global issue, but it’s going to take more than Liam Neeson and his freaky skills to solve it…..

It’s time take a stand against this horrific trade, to protect our woman, children and even the men who are affected by human trafficking and modern day slavery. Unsurprisingly, governments have been completely ineffective in developing a sustainable solution. Not-for-profits, private enterprise and you, the public, must be the solution.

Support those who fight against Human Trafficking. Buy a flanny from Freedom Flannels, donate to Operation Underground Railroad and help stamp out modern day slavery!  #freedomflannels #ent30012 #moderndayslavery #sexslavery #enditmovement #compassion #love