FOREST, Va. — Christian humanitarian organization World Help has dedicated a rehabilitation home in Thailand with the mission of rescuing and empowering women trapped in the sex industry. The home was dedicated as part of World Help’s anti-human trafficking work during January’s National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Located in Pattaya, one of the main engines of Thailand’s multibillion dollar sex industry, the facility offers a safe place to live as well as provides daily meals, a fully funded education and vocational training, trauma counseling, and medical care — all in the environment of a loving community.
“World Help is proud to dedicate this home to help women escape the sex industry and start a new life,” said World Help Vice President Noel Yeatts. “Many of these women find themselves trapped because they have no alternative. Poverty drives them to this kind of work to support themselves and their families. By providing them a place to live and an education, we are giving them an opportunity they are rarely afforded: the ability to choose the kind of life they want to live.”
Though in the past few years Thailand has taken significant strides in development — such as eradicating mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmissions — the country is still known for its thriving sex industry. In Pattaya alone an estimated 50,000 sex workers roam the streets, brothels, and massage parlors every day. And while poverty remains one of the main reasons why women, and men, enter the sex industry, human trafficking and slavery also are prevalent factors. In fact, human trafficking is “believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world,” according to the FBI.
“Freedom begins with the power of choice,” Yeatts said. “And there is no greater catalyst to freedom than education. If these women are given the opportunity to learn — something they have been deprived of most of their lives — they’ll find that the door to a hope-filled future. We rescue them by providing opportunity for them.”
World Help also has human trafficking prevention and rehabilitation programs in India. Child sponsorships provide young girls with food and an education, relieving the pressure of having to abandon school at an early age and enter the industry.
World Help is a Christian humanitarian organization committed to serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. Since its inception in 1991, World Help has delivered humanitarian aid to more than 79 million people in 70 countries.