Today’s global landscape includes political unrest, social upheaval, and astounding levels of poverty in developing and developed countries alike, leaving a staggering number of women vulnerable to sexual slavery. An estimated 2.5 million people are captured in the bonds of human trafficking at any given moment, including 1.2 million children. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime note that people trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organized crime. The UN reports victims are enslaved from 127 countries and exploited in 137; this $32 billion dollar industry affects every continent and has begun to awaken the hearts of the body of Christ. For Goers whose heart breaks for the injustice of sex slavery, there are significant opportunities to touch the lives of these victims, each a treasure of incomparable value, who are often broken, desperate and fearful, and see no hope for a different future. Mexico City is the largest city in Latin America, with a population of 21.2 million. According to the Mexican government, more than 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year, especially in tourist and border areas en route to the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada and Western Europe. These statistics do not even include Mexican women, or foreign women and children who are trafficked through Mexico City. Goers who are already proficient in Spanish (B1 intermediate level) will join with Mexicans in ministry in Spanish to work in efforts that help victims of sex trafficking such as prevention, advocacy, intervention, and restoration. Goers who arrive without any Spanish language skills will first serve with a ministry that works with as risk women and girls while learning Spanish. In the second year, the Goer will either continue to serve that organization, or can transition to working with the organization involved in and anti-human trafficking. Goers will also live with a Mexican family, work with a local Mexican church, take Spanish classes, and grow in language, culture and ministry!
This placement is for women only. Studies and practice in social work and community development can be very helpful, but not required. Understanding of issues involved in coming out of a trafficking background, helpful but not required. Personal integrity exhibited in reliability, perseverance, consistency, flexibility and a servant’s heart is essential. A willingness to serve wherever is needed is very important. Experience in counseling, therapy, work with children and youth, very helpful, but not required. Goers are not always able to work directly with trafficking victims during the first 6 months of service, due to the sensitive nature of this ministry. Goers will be placed according to personal background, experience level and the ministry sites current needs. Placements can include administrative placements, support ministry placements, roles in the transitional home and in the refuge. During the first 6 months of the volunteer’s ministry they will be assigned to a local Mexican church and another ministry for Spanish and culture learning. Upon successful completion of these 6 months participants will begin their “official” assignment with the trafficking ministry.