Imagine little girls standing behind a wall of glass, each wearing a matching red dress with a number pinned on it. As the girls watch cartoons on small television sets, grown men purchase them by their numbers.
In 2002, Rob Morris and Lamont Hiebert, two of the founders of Love 146, witnessed this scene while working undercover with investigators at a brothel in South East Asia. They were struck by the childrens’ eyes: empty, without a spark of life. And then there was #146. The only child not watching cartoons, #146 was staring back through the glass with fire and fight left in her eyes. In those eyes, Rob and Lamont found their calling. Her number became the rallying cry for an organization with one mission: to end child slavery and exploitation.
Far from being a thing of the past, human trafficking generates an estimated $32 Billion annually, making it the second most lucrative crime in the world. Two children are sold every minute. Often menus are handed out at the brothels with photos of the children.
Love 146 is facing child slavery and exploitation head-on. The organization’s visually arresting web site features searing images and unforgettable stories. More importantly, it outlines numerous ways for all of us to advance the cause.
We need to break down the glass wall and free these little girls so that they may have a real childhood.
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