“I’d like to stress that this is like negotiating for slaves. It is very complex and very risky for us. The situation is more complicated with girls. First of all, when we arrive in the camps, the girls are hidden by the commanders. To date, we have successfully released 5,300 children, but fewer than 30 percent of those are girls,” he said, a number which shows how hard it is to free them.
“The most pessimistic research says each soldier keeps a girl between 12 and 16 years of age,” so that means rescue organizations like his are not accessing the vast majority of the girls when they approach militia groups, he said. “Not only do the armed groups not want to release girls, but some of the girls don’t want to go either, for fear of being stigmatized,” he said. “They may have children or be pregnant, or have sexually transmitted diseases. They are scared of going back to their families.”
It's impossible for me to imagine a greater attrocity against humanity than the prolonged physical and sexual abuse of a child. What this man and his organization are doing for the children of The Democratic Republic of Congo is extraordinary.
Sadly, the trafficking of children for sex is a major issue here in this country as well. If you want to learn more about how you can help win the fight against this evil here in Portland, visit doortograce.org. ◉