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.
Some more links:
A bit more about OUR: http://ourrescue.org/files/1453832490aebf183e6dd87045e259ee44614ac8c1.pdf
A bit about Tim Ballard:
Operation Whale Watch Debreif/Story: