Last night I met a 14 year old girl (or so) inside of a brothel in Southeast Asia. She wore on her wrist a Hello Kitty bracelet. Her mannerisms were reminiscent of a child. She was playful and put the bracelet on my wrist and smiled. Her hands were so small, barely reaching from the bottom of my palm to the bottom of my fingers. She didn’t speak English so I did my best with the few phrases I knew in her language to get her story. I also talked to the woman in charge of her. This little girl watched as the cost of taking her for an hour or an evening was discussed. For her, at this point in her life, there is nothing out of the ordinary about two people twice her age discussing her price as if she were a mere product.
Why is this girl here in this place a child has no business being near? She is one of thousands systematically being relocated from the poor country side into the city. There are evil men rounding up these girls from the poor villages either through fraud, force or coercion.
Why am I here in this place where good men can’t ethically justify stepping into? I’m here to find her and capture evidence of her captivity using covert gear and to add that evidence into a case file on the club that is selling her. We want to find the mechanism, the supply chain, the patterns of recruitment and delivery. And as I head back home to go back on tour with the band, The Exodus Road continues to use this evidence that we are collecting to begin to paint a more complicated picture of the crime syndicate that brought this precious baby into that brothel that I sat in last night. And then, if we are successful, we will partner with local authorities and arrest those trafficking her and bring her to freedom.
I will write more about this girl and others. And why, as hard as it was, I had to leave her there. Looking back at her from the doorway with a sorrow so profound I can’t even begin to put it into words. But for now - if you want to hear more about what we’re doing or get involved you can text the word remedy to 51555