Anti-Trafficking and Gender-based Violence
World Hope International believes in God’s desire for freedom and justice for the oppressed, the downtrodden, the abused and exploited. We believe in mercy and compassion for the last, the least, and the lost. We believe in healing for the broken, in recovery and restoration for the victims of human trafficking and sexual predation.
These beliefs are our passion; they are the reasons why we work so hard every day to serve victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence, and why we are committed to doing all we can to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place.
To learn more about WHI’s current anti-trafficking efforts, read the 2016 Anti-Trafficking Annual Report.
Since 2012, with financial support provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, WHI has been operating the Recovery Centre (RC) for Survivors of Human Trafficking. The Center serves as the first stop on the path of restoration for victims removed from the horrors of labor and sex trafficking. By offering survivors of human trafficking a path towards healing through immediate and holistic aftercare services, the RC restores to survivors the opportunity to live lives of dignity and hope.
WHI has also played an instrumental role in drafting and revising Sierra Leone’s Anti- Human Trafficking Act that was passed in 2005; has a strong record as an effective catalyst for establishing anti-trafficking networks, having developed 58 Village Parent Groups (VPGs) around the country, all trained to identify and respond to human trafficking, and linked with local law enforcement; serves as a member of National TIP Task Force; and maintains excellent working relationships with key members of the national police and federal government ministries.
From 2005 to 2015, WHI responded to exceptionally high levels of sex trafficking and rape in Cambodia by opening the first and only Assessment Center for Survivors of Sexual Exploitation and Rape (AC) in Phnom Penh in June 2005. For a decade, WHl was at the forefront of the movement to eradicate human trafficking in Cambodia as the AC served as the first stop for victims on their path towards recovery providing immediate health needs and life-skills training.
In 2015, WHI celebrated a major reduction in the level of child sex trafficking in Cambodia. During the 10 years the AC was operational, WHI had the privilege to support over 1,100 sexually trafficked and exploited girls, helping them begin their journey towards healing. The program was recognized by the U.S. Department of State as a best in-practice for this type of high trauma care.
WHI began a Trafficking in Persons awareness and education campaign in Azerbaijan in 2009. WHI conducts anti-trafficking education and outreach campaigns to parents, teachers and students of all ages, specifically targeting Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) settlements and low-income areas. WHI also facilitates Task Force trainings community members are equipped to form Community Parent Groups (CPGs). CPGs carry the anti-trafficking prevention work forward by educating others, assessing community needs and reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement officials.
Due to the socio-economic disparity between rural and urban communities, victims in Liberia are trafficked within the country, primarily from rural areas to urban areas for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Thanks to funding from the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP), WHI launched a new program to combat TIP in Liberia. Titled the “Enhancing Trafficking in Persons Victim Services Program” the project is designed to provide short-term emergency shelter, holistic case management and reintegration assistance for up to 50 TIP victims.
In 2016, WHI established and supported the launch of Liberia’s first governmental anti-trafficking hotline for the potential identification of labor and sex trafficking victims or at-risk persons. As part of the program, WHI staff accompany police on rescues called in through the hotline and transport victims to the Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK) shelter, operated by training WHI social workers and counselors provides comprehensive medical care, mental health care, and education in addition to a safe, caring place to live. When deemed appropriate and safe, WHI assists with reintegration for survivors and reunification with their families. In addition to establishing a hotline and providing direct services to survivors, WHI works to raise awareness of human trafficking in Liberia through person to person outreach in villages and radio call-in shows.
WHI anti-trafficking programs in Albania focus on human trafficking prevention through work projects for high-risk women and girls. The current work project involves knitting hand-craft work. These products are being distributed through two organizations, the biggest one being a company called “Eternal Threads.” Other anti-trafficking work involves education and awareness that is carried out by World Hope International volunteers in-country.
Following a trip to Manila where WHI was joined by representatives of the Set Free Movement, International Justice Mission, and the Salvation Army, WHI and partners are planning several approaches and seeking funds to assist with the fight against online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC), an exponentially growing problem in the Philippines, which is the number one provider of online child pornography in the world.
In 2017, WHI be developing a special curriculum to teach churches and caregivers about OSEC, and training local pastors, lay people, and seminary students as trainers. To address the shortage of mental health services in the country, WHI will be raising scholarship funds for young people willing to get social work degrees and work with abused and trafficked children. In the future, WHI plans to financially support and train existing shelters to expand and accept boys and younger children.
Hephzibah Children’s Home: Hope Haven
For more than a century Hephzibah Children’s Home (HCH) has been serving the needs of children and families who are homeless, orphaned, abused, and neglected. Its passion is driven by Christ’s command to “offer a cup of cold water” in Jesus’ name and to provide loving, caring, and professional service to those who are in need. “Hope Haven” is a new ministry created by HCH and WHI to securely house girls aged 12-17 who are survivors of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, with a focus on the provision of trauma counseling, spiritual healing, life skills, education, and confidence-building. The program offers safe, secure, and undisclosed residential services for the safety of those it serves.
World Hope International is committed to mobilizing activists in the fight to end human trafficking both in the US and abroad. Learn how you can take action as an individual, a community or church member.
For more information on fighting human trafficking, please visit:
Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST)
WHI is a founding member of FAAST, which provides a framework for collaboration between Christian churches, denominations, universities and communities around the world who are rising up to confront human trafficking.
U.S. Department of State
The U.S. Department of State annually releases the Trafficking in Persons Report, the most comprehensive worldwide report on the efforts of governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons. It also regularly grants funds to organizations fighting human trafficking around the world.
Wesleyan Holiness Consortium Freedom Network
WHI is a member of The Wesleyan Holiness Consortium Freedom Network (FN), an affinity group of Christian ministries from the Wesleyan-Holiness faith tradition, which seeks to foster a collaborative approach to ending modern slavery by proclaiming a hopeful alternative and by engaging in smart, effective, sustainable action. The FN’s “Declaration for Freedom” is a seminal statement reminding members of the Consortium that the holiness of God reflected in us compels us to advocate for just and hopeful practices in all areas of life—including human trafficking.
Chab Dai means "joining hands" in Khmer. The coalition started in Cambodia in 2005 with a vision to bring an end to trafficking and sexual exploitation through coalition-building, community prevention, advocacy and research. WHI has been a longtime member of Chab Dai.