Where are we now?

Human trafficking and slavery continue to take new forms, constantly staying a step ahead of attempts to keep people safe. Is there any light at the end of this tunnel?

It’s been a few months since I wrote my last post.

What’s changed since then? Nothing. And everything. All of it.

Blue Dragon’s rescues continue. Continue to grow in number, continue to grow in urgency. That’s not new.

But the numbers calling for help are new. In the second half of 2023, we rescued 7 times the number of people we rescued in the first half. Looking ahead to the coming months, those numbers are still growing.

Crossing a river during a rescue operation.

And the urgency of every call is beyond what we’ve seen before. Messages are coming to us along the lines of:

“Please help my sister, she is in Myanmar and the trafficker plans to take her kidneys.”

“I am desperate. All night I hear bombs and gunfire. I don’t want to keep living.”

“Send help, please! We are being tortured. They used an electric prod on me and now I cannot walk.”

Trafficking in all its forms is horrible, but these new levels of barbarism are shocking nonetheless.

So is there any hope at all?

When talking about human trafficking, I’m always careful of two things. First, I never exaggerate how bad things are. This includes sharing rumours or speculating. And second, I never give false hope when there’s really none to be had.

But despite all of these developments, I do believe there’s still hope. There’s light at the end of this tunnel.

Life is getting harder for the traffickers who are luring people into Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, where they are violently enslaved and forced to scam people online.

People are hearing about their tricks and are less likely to fall for them.

International pressure is causing some of these scam operations, which have enslaved over 200,000 people in south-east Asia alone, to close.

Police from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos have been pursuing the criminals behind the trafficking and scams, reportedly arresting thousands of people involved.

And rebel armies in northern Myanmar have sworn to shut the scams down as they take control of new territory.

Although the situation right now is worse than it’s ever been, we’re seeing signs that maybe, just maybe, the tide is starting to turn.

I hope I’m not speaking too soon. But it’s definitely too soon to give up hope.

Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation is on a mission to end human trafficking. 

5 thoughts on “Where are we now?”

  1. Really happy you wrote again. In the dark times, you are their hope. You are our hope. Keep up the wonderful work!
    Phuong Anh

  2. The growth of scams, and human trafficking are abhorrent. While it might be oversimplifying it, money is the root cause. This presents a good case for arriving at a universal salary divided from an equitable sharing tax of the super-rich and billionaires. Now if we could figure out how to achieve this, there would be light at the end of the tunnel. If only the wealthy could see that the end to famine, poverty and human trafficking would be far more valuable than any ‘assets’ and come to an agreement to ensure that no one is left behind. Then the light at the end of the tunnel will be a very welcome presence.

  3. Dear Michael,
    I am devastated to hear the story of these precious people from Vietnam being trafficked. I cannot even bear to think about young women trafficked into brothels and what they are subjected to and taking body parts is a new low. I keep you all in my prayers that you would win every court case, that all the rescue missions are successful and that each person who is rescued will know healing in mind body soul and spirit. Love and greetings from Ireland

  4. Thank you for blogging Michael – while it’s informative to receive the regular Rescue Reports, your blog adds a further dimension. I share both reports and blogs with friends to encourage them to support the urgent work of Blue Dragon.

  5. This is really an eye opener for me ..coz I lived in a safe n secure country which I have taken security for granted..thank for sharing..your work is an uphill task and I would say is danger too at times..will keep you and your rescuers cum volunteers in my prayer..will help within my capacity and the best is sharing your blog and creating awareness among others too ..to stay vigilant at all times ..best wishes from little red dot..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *