Tens of thousands of girls in Asia at risk of being sold into prostitution or slave labor have been saved from a possible “fate worse than death” by Gospel for Asia, a Texas-based mission organization, and its field partners working in Asia’s poverty-stricken slums and villages.
To mark International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org) revealed tens of thousands of girls are enrolled in 600-plus GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers across Asia – providing safety, free schooling, medical care and meals for at-risk children living in extreme poverty.
The 2019 Day of the Girl Child draws attention to critical issues facing millions of girls around the world, including education inequality, gender-based violence, and forced child marriage.
“Some of these girls living in the impoverished communities served by Bridge of Hope are among the most vulnerable in the world, with many of them unwanted and treated by their own families as nothing more than free labor or goods to be sold,” said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “It’s a crisis of neglect and abuse.”
Severe poverty results in parents taking extreme steps just to survive, including forcing their young daughters into slavery-like labor conditions or – worse – prostitution.
Girls “Never Seen Again”
“Prostitution is legal in some parts of Asia so the chances of girls being victimized are drastically increased,” said Yohannan.
“Many of the poorest families are manipulated into selling their daughters to opportunists who promise a better life for them. But many of these girls are never heard from or seen again. It’s a fate worse than death.”
In this century, more young women and girls are enslaved in brothels each year than were shipped to slave plantations at the height of the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries, according to reports.
“Despite the good work the governments in these nations are doing to combat these issues, so much work still needs to be done,” Yohannan said.
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SOURCE: Assist News