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Category: Human trafficking

Family

Boi is a pretty cool dude. He’s wearing his hair long today, but every other time you see him he has a new style. He’s grown quite tall in the past 2 years and walks with a confident, sometimes cocky, stride. He’s no longer the skinny little kid we met 5 years ago, homeless on the streets of Hanoi and so deeply drawn into himself. Back then, Hanoi was a different city and Boi was a different person. He had come to the city to escape an abusive family, and…

Vulnerability

My is back in school now. She’s studying in Grade 11 high up in the mountains of north-west Vietnam, living in a boarding house because the journey from her home to school is too far to travel each day. Seeing her with her classmates, she looks like any senior student and has all the same worries and burdens of any teenage school girl. But My has also been through an experience few of us can fully understand. In February 2017, at age 15, she was trafficked and sold as a…

Beyond the day

Today marks the World Day Against Human Trafficking. There’s a designated day for just about everything: mixed in with International Women’s Day and the World Day Against Child Labor are World Donut Day and International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Something about the various ceremonial days doesn’t sit quite right with me. I fear that straight after Earth Hour or the World Day of Social Justice we just slip back into our normal routine. The events and workshops and social media splashes make us feel good, but has anything changed?…

Not everybody makes it

I’m embarrassed to have missed blogging for the last two weeks. I’ve tried to keep a good routine but sometimes life gets out of hand. Mea culpa! One of the joys of blogging is sharing stories of the wonderful children and young people I meet and work with. There are so many happy stories to tell. Even though most stories start with suffering or crisis, most do end with a real hope for the future. But not all. Since we rescued  our very first trafficked child back in 2005, I’ve…

Midnight

I’m a terrible dinner guest. Invite me to your house, sit with me around a table, and ask me how my day was. I will tell stories that turn you off your meal. I will talk about the young mother who was tricked into following a trafficker into China, then tortured and raped until she complied with their demand that she “marry” a stranger. I will tell the story of the 2 boys who were living with Blue Dragon but then enticed away to join a criminal gang, which lends…

A whole world to fix

Trang had a good, steady job. She earned enough in the local fish processing plant to look after herself and her 2 sons; while she wasn’t rich by any measure, she was able to get by and she was proud of her small family. When an environmental catastrophe hit north-central Vietnam in 2016, caused by a major steel mill discharging poison into the ocean, Trang’s job was among the first to go. With 200 km (125 miles) of coastline contaminated, all sealife in the region was devastated. There were simply…

All in this…

I’ve posted an article on LinkedIn, discussing the pitfalls to current approaches that governments are taking to fight human trafficking. www.linkedin.com/pulse/all-together-michael-brosowski To end trafficking, we have to use our resources as best we can. There’s some evidence that countries may be taking a ‘siloed’ approach, trying to deal only with forms of trafficking which directly affect them, and I fear that there’s no way to succeed if we work like that. This issue is too important for us to mess up.   Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation rescues kids in crisis.

The long story

This first shot at getting back to the blog finds me quite far from home. I am in Zurich today, and heading to Ireland tomorrow where I will be speaking about human trafficking and what my organization in Vietnam has learned about it over the years. The story of Blue Dragon is one of unlikely success. We started back in 2002 as a group of friends in Hanoi wanting to help street kids; I was an English teacher in a university and most of those working alongside me were economists.…

Trust Me

Every rescue operation is different to every other, but Trang’s was somehow even more different. In her late teens, Trang was trafficked from Vietnam and sold into a brothel in China. As is very common in these cases, she was deceived by someone posing as a close friend. A young man built a relationship with her, gained her trust, and then betrayed her. After many months in the brothel, where each moment was a brutal fight for survival, she found herself in possession of a mobile telephone, and in the early hours…

What if?

During the week I visited British International School in Hanoi, and was talking to their Grade 8 class about charity, charities, and the idea that we all have a role to play in caring for our world. It’s always the Question Time that I most enjoy, because there’s nothing so insightful as the question of a child. And this class didn’t let me down. One of the girls asked me something quite profound: What if I hadn’t started Blue Dragon? Where would I be? And what about all the kids we’ve…