All Posts in Human Trafficking Articles

July 25, 2018 - 1 comment.

The Power of Prayer

“Men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” Luke 18:1

Jesus spoke a parable about a persistent widow that pleaded for justice without giving up and got justice from an unjust judge.

He then said, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.” Luke 18:7-8

When you are faced with the situation of human trafficking both domestically and globally, it seems like there is nothing you can do to bring justice into the situation or fight such vicious evil. But just recently, God reconfirmed that we as Christians are given a powerful weapon from The King to fight even human trafficking.

Since January 2018, we at ZOE Japan have been going out into the streets of Machida, Tokyo to do prayer walking regularly.

We walk through the busy neon hotel streets. If we see or feel something is off, we stop and pray. We continue this work while trusting that God would bring His justice to the evil and freedom to the captives. Soon, we discovered something interesting happening in the town. In February, the month after we started our walks, we discovered from a local news article that one of the JK businesses (joshi koukousei, Japanese for high-school girls) in Machida was shut down due to the arrest of a man who made underage girls work for sexual services. Publicly, the business was legitimized as a service where teenage girls taught older men how to use smartphones. In reality, these girls were chosen by a customer via an online site to go to a hotel together and the girls’ subsequent income was through sexual services to the customers. Even though this kind of business is hard to expose since their office is just an intangible online network, Japanese police made an effort to track them down and were able to arrest the manager leading to the girls being rescued. This happened right in our neighborhood, the very hotel streets where we always walked through and prayed! We cannot physically go to all the places we want to, but our prayer goes out to every corner of the streets and buildings, every hidden place and unseen heart. God showed us how powerful our prayers are, to plead for justice, and how we should never cease to pray because our God is a just, merciful, and loving Father who cares for His children.

July 16, 2018 - No Comments!

A Wake-Up Call

by Marji Iacovetti

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice held a Human Trafficking Summit in Washington D.C. During the summit, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, expressed the department’s active commitment to continue to combat the violent crime of human trafficking.


Mr. Sessions reported several successful law enforcement efforts including prosecutions, long sentences for traffickers, and the recovery of many victims. He praised members of Congress for their unique bipartisan support and interest in this important issue.

He also conveyed serious concern that human trafficking remains distressingly prevalent, noting that, “from 2010 to 2015, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported a nine-fold increase in reports of suspected child sex trafficking,” and stated, “These numbers should be a wake-up call for all of us.”

Will you join us in praying for law enforcement officials who fight this crime? Please pray for their safety, for wisdom, and for a growing focus on stopping human trafficking throughout our nation.

June 4, 2018 - No Comments!

The End of Backpage

On April 11, 2018, President Trump signed into law the House bill named Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), also known as the Senate billStop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). The bill targets websites like Backpage, advertisers, and social media networks that unlawfully promote and facilitate the commercial sexual exploitation of victims. By ensuring the ability to enforce federal and state criminal and civil law relating to sex trafficking, the bill gives tools that prosecutors need to hold violators responsible. It also allows survivors to recover damages against these companies.

Earlier in the week before the bill became law, several Backpage executives were indicted on charges that the website allegedly promoted selling underage girls for sex, facilitated prostitution, and laundered millions of dollars in profits. Backpage has argued in the past that these advertisements are “free speech” protected by the Constitution.

Technology has become a dangerous tool for exploiters to facilitate sex trafficking. Websites and social media are full of advertisements for sex work, including victims (often underage) who are forced into sex trafficking. The federal indictment of Backpage officials one girl who was sexually exploited on Backpage from 14 to 19 years of age. She indicated that she was gang raped, choked, and forced to perform sex acts at gunpoint.

This historic law was possible through the bipartisan efforts of legislators and the hard work of survivors, advocates, and nonprofit organizations. In order to end child trafficking, there remains so much more work to be done. ZOE International is committed to this goal through the prevention, rescue, and restoration of trafficking survivors.

Source: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1865/BILLS-115hr1865enr.pdf

April 12, 2018 - No Comments!

Awareness in Trafficking Hot Spots

By Joel Mayeski
Human Trafficking Awareness & Prevention Coordinator
ZOE International

Awareness is one of the greatest weapons against human trafficking.  As more people become aware, the better the chance of stopping human trafficking and impacting the lives of millions around the world.

Read more

March 19, 2015 - No Comments!

“There’s no such thing as a child prostitute.”

by Marji Iacovetti, Program Services Manager at ZOE

“There’s no such thing as a child prostitute.”

A quick online search of these words brings over two dozen perfectly matching results. In recent months, the phrase has been featured in newspaper articles, media guides, billboards, and speeches given by public figures. The words have been tweeted, posted, and worn on jewelry.

The reasoning behind the phrase is simple: Since young children in the U.S. cannot legally consent to sexual acts, they certainly cannot consent to commercial sexual acts.

When a child is trafficked for commercial sex, several results occur.

  • One exploiter receives physical gratification.
  • Another exploiter receives financial gratification.
  • The child suffers physical, emotional, and psychological harm.

The child is abused for profit. Often, the crime also results of a label for the victim. The label is “child prostitute” and it denotes a choice that stands in clear contradiction to our nation’s laws.

Together, we can change perceptions by being intentional about the terms we use. Let’s strike the term “child prostitute” from our vocabularies. Let’s replace that term with more accurate phrasing like “exploited child” or “trafficked youth.”

Over time, this subtle but powerful change can make a difference in the lives of children who deserve our acceptance and support.

February 26, 2015 - No Comments!

To Trust or Not…

Building Trust With Child Trafficking Victims

Written by Amanda Degler, Missionary in Thailand

Every child who comes to ZOE International has a different story. Some come from begging rings, some are orphans with no one to care for them, some come from brothels where they have been used and others come from abusive homes. While every child who arrives at ZOE has her own story, I have found that one thing remains the same about most children who first come to ZOE, and that is fear.

The majority of children coming to ZOE do not know if they should trust us because they have learned that people should not be trusted. For one child in particular, the fear was always visible on her face as she wondered if we would use and abuse her like others have in the past. However, as hard as it was to see her so scared in the beginning, it was also exciting to see her fear melt away. While her fear lingered longer than others, she began to experience unconditional love, possibly for the first time, and to transform into the courageous, beautiful and kind girl she is today.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18a

As her fear subsided and the trust was built, we were able to begin the hard work of processing her trauma and past. Since then, she has integrated into the ZOE family and begun to plan for her own bright future.

January 29, 2015 - 1 comment.

The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking

By now, many of you have heard of the statistics surrounding the Super Bowl and human trafficking. According to Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbot  "It's commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States."

Sex traffickers are drawn to large sporting events like the Super Bowl because of the large volume of people in one place, with many men looking to pay for sex.

"It's not so much that you become a victim at the Super Bowl, but that "many victims are brought in to be used for all the men at the Super Bowl" (Stephanie Kilper of Operation Freedom Taskforce in Akron, OH). Arizona wants to make this year’s Super Bowl different.  Through awareness campaigns they are working to address and reduce sex trafficking.

Similarly, ZOE works to prevent human trafficking through awareness. In Thailand, we give information to people in the hilltribes about trafficking so that they won’t fall victim to it. The Super Bowl is an event that can be used to bring understanding of human trafficking in the U.S.

Wondering what you can do? The task seems insurmountable when looking at the big picture. Yet, as one person, you can affect many lives. Familiarize yourself with the facts of human trafficking and the things that one person can do. 

Ultimately, as long as there is demand, there will be trafficking. And as long as there is trafficking, ZOE will be there to bring intervention and restoration to victims.

On February 1st, when you sit down to watch the Super Bowl, would you take a moment to remember those who become victims of human trafficking because of this event. Would you take a moment to remember them and pray?





January 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Breaking the Silence

Martin Luther King Jr. Inspires ZOE to Fight Modern Day Slavery

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.“

As we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., these words he spoke years ago still ring true today.

Like Abraham Lincoln and William Wilberforce before him, Martin Luther King Jr. was not afraid to raise his voice in opposition to the evil of his day. These men and others like them have given their voice and, in many cases, their lives to combat the injustices perpetrated upon the innocent, the vulnerable and the voiceless in society. Deep within their souls, they knew that to remain silent in the face of such evil was not an option for them.

As we face the daunting task of combating human trafficking in our generation, we too must ask ourselves the question if we are willing to go about our lives in silence as though the problem of modern day slavery doesn’t exist. Abraham Lincoln said, “To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.”

To break the silence, some will speak, some will give, some will do.

Whatever your part is, break the silence today and make your voice heard for the millions enslaved who have no voice. Answer the question with a loud: “Yes, I will raise my voice and speak out!” So that in unison, we can bring freedom to all victims of modern day slavery.

January 3, 2015 - 1 comment.

5 Ways You Can Help End Human Trafficking

"Slavery tears at our social fabric, fuels violence and organized crime, and debases our common humanity. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to ending this scourge in all its forms." | President Barack Obama

On December 31, 2013, President Barack Obama proclaimed January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. He recognized that everyone can play a role in ending slavery. This Saturday is set aside as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

This past year at our ZOE Rescue Walk, our theme was D.O.T. "Do One Thing." We too, recognize that everyone can do something to help end the slavery of human beings. Imagine what would happen if everyone in your circle of influence was challenged by you to "do one thing." An awareness of the reality of human trafficking and action steps to end it would be taking place throughout not only our country, but the world. It is possible for us to eradicate human trafficking in our lifetime. We must make a choice to do something about it. Below are five simple things that most people can do.


1. Know the signs of human trafficking 

2. Know the human trafficking hotline number | 1.888.373.7888

3. Read the Trafficking in Persons Report

4. Read the book, "Justice Awakening" by Eddie Byun

5. Sign up for the ZOE Newsletter and for blog post notifications



1. Follow ZOE on social media | Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest

2. Share facts and stats on human trafficking on your social media pages

3. Invite a ZOE representative to come speak to your group about human trafficking



1. Financially support ZOE international

2. Easy ways to give to ZOE | Amazon Smile, Ralphs Club Community Rewards &  Goodsearch

3. 9 Ways to support a zoe missionary

4. Write letters of encouragement to missionaries overseas or locally



1. Volunteer your time and talent

2. Advocate for foster care and orphan ministries

3. Join or start a task force in your city

4. Attend events that raise awareness of human trafficking



1. Commit to pray for those on the front lines fighting trafficking | January 10th join believers around the globe in prayer

2. Join ZOE's monthly prayer night on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6pm, in person if you live locally, or on your knees where you are if not

3. Read our Prayer Guide







October 14, 2014 - No Comments!

One Woman's Journey to End Child Trafficking

Guest Blogger, Kim Charter

My friend, Vickie McCoy and I met for lunch a few years ago and she shared with me that she was leaving her full time job to become a “stateside missionary.” After I picked my jaw up off the floor she explained more. I knew of her love for ZOE international and for missions, but it was this conversation that led me to a new, overwhelming awareness of child trafficking and it began my own journey to find out what I could to make a difference.

I thought that trafficking was only a third world problem. I could have compassion for those children, yet know that the children in my life were safe. But, the more I talked with Vickie, the more I became fully aware, enlightened and frightened for the children in my life and those around me. There is a growing exploitation of children in the US and there aren’t many safe places for them to recover and heal. ZOE wants to create a “home environment” in the United States for these children to come to so that they can be safe and healed.

The minute that I heard there was a need for help “I was IN”. It is now not only on my side of the globe, but in my home. I have two granddaughters and could never imagine them being hurt in this way. Now I have a responsibility to educate, inform and enlighten others about ending child trafficking.

Last year I learned about the ZOE Rescue Walk. I registered, raised funds and walked to contribute to the ZOE mission. I soon learned that there were many other people who were also unaware of the close proximity of this problem. There is a great need in this country to bring awareness of not only this problem globally, but locally as well. Last year’s Walk was a wonderful way for me to become involved and get the message out.

This year, I am walking again. I am doing my “one thing” to make a difference in the lives of others. Now it’s your turn to “Do One Thing” and consider joining me at this year’s walk on November 15th. Register now at ZOERescueWalk.com and do your one thing to end child trafficking and save a child!