Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Women and Girls Are Trafficked From Burma (Myanmar) to China

It's been a year since Khin Khin Oo was sold by her father.

Eight thousand yuan ($1,300; £830): That was the price for a cute four-year-old Burmese girl from a broken home.

Crouched in the doorway of her bamboo house, Khin Khin Oo's grandmother Ma Shan told me the story. "I grow corn and rice but my son is a heroin addict so we have no money," she said.

Ma Shan's family life is in disarray. Just a couple of metres away in the dark of the house, her son sits listening to us talk about him, staring blankly ahead.

Ma Shan's daughter isn't in much better shape. She ran off with another man (according to Ma Shan, having been drugged with spiked orange juice), leaving her two small children to live with her parents.

One of them, an energetic boy, plays in the mud by the stilts of the bamboo house, as we look at pictures of his sister Khin Khin Oo.

Khin Oo - sold by her father
"One day her father Soe Khine came back for her," Ma Shan recounted. "But after she'd been away four days I knew something was wrong."

Fearing the worst, Ma Shan turned detective and, with a village elder, went to speak some of Soe Khine's friends. They quickly found out he was in financial trouble.

"He'd lost all his money playing cards," she said, shaking her head.

At that point, the Burmese police became involved. They found Soe Khine and he confessed that with the help of a local Kachin woman, he had sold his daughter to a Chinese trafficker.

The police followed the trail to the Chinese border town of Ruili, where they discovered that Khin Khin Oo had been traded again, this time for 12,000 yuan ($2,000; £1,277), to a childless couple who wanted to adopt.

After a week and a joint operation with the Chinese police, Khin Khin Oo was rescued and returned to her grandmother.

"While she was gone, I didn't even want to eat. I was so worried," she said.

Luckily Khin Khin Oo had been well treated, with the Chinese couple seemingly unaware that she'd been trafficked.

She was returned to her grandmother in Hankan who, fearing for her safety, sent her back to China this time to live with an aunt.

Women cuddle their child at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China
China's one-child policy and the preference for sons has created
 a shortage of women in the country
The trafficking of Burmese children like Khin Khin Oo is thankfully rare.

But Myanmar's north-eastern border region with China has become notorious for the exploitation of young women.

China's one-child policy and its preference for sons has created a shortage of women and wives.

There are four girls from Kutkai township who went to China to work;
 they haven't been heard from for eight months
Demographers estimate that by 2020, there will be a surplus of 24 million men, desperately looking for spouses.

The trafficking that we hear about along the Burmese border is complex, with the families often complicit in the financial transaction being made.

At his table in a camp for displaced people in Namkhan township, community leader Myint Kyaw is flicking through photos of missing women.

Camp for displaced people in Namkhan
10% of women here have been trafficked
"These are four girls aged between 15 and 18 from Kutkai township who went to China to work. They haven't been heard of for eight months," he said.

"This lady is 26 years-old and missing too. We're trying to trace her through our community living in China."

In all, he estimates that about 10% of the local Ta'ang women have been sold or trafficked in some way.

"Then my boss told me I didn't need to work at the restaurant anymore and that I was to marry her brother," she said.

Forty thousand yuan ($6,500; £4,152) had apparently been paid to secure the deal.

"At first I refused but my boss said she would just sell me to someone else." So Lamo was forced to move to her husband's home in Beijing. For three months, she was kept as a prisoner in his house.

"I wasn't allowed to make phone calls and I had to stay inside. My husband said we could only go and visit my parents when we had a baby."

Then after three months of captivity Lamo found a way to escape.

Lamo Bokdin Burmese trafficking victim - I refused [to marry her brother]
but my boss said she would just sell me to someone else”
"I lived at the top of the two-storey building. The house had small windows covered with netting - so I cut the net with scissors and jumped down into the street," she explained.

"Luckily, nobody who saw me land cared. So I took a car to the train station where the police helped me get a ticket out of Beijing."

Lamo now shares a tent with her sister and is rebuilding her life. She earns a small amount of money weaving traditional skirts.

She is one of the survivors of a thriving trade in human lives.