O.U.R. forms partnership with A.R.C. & increases its support in Ghana; aids in the arrests of pedophile suspects and contributes nutritional support for vulnerable children in Ecuador

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ChildSexTrafficking–During March 2023, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) provided focused support for arrests of sex trafficking perpetrators in Ghana and assisted in identifying perpetrators and providing nutritional support for vulnerable children in Ecuador. O.U.R. entered a new partnership this month with Abuse Relief Corps (A.R.C.) to amplify efforts to rescue child sex trafficking victims and help law enforcement agencies catch and prosecute perpetrators in Ghana. On March 3, 2023, O.U.R. and A.R.C. joined government leaders and other stakeholders to announce the new partnership in Accra, Ghana.

Offering Hope in Ghana

For the past seven years, A.R.C. has been aiding and funding post-assault care of victims of rape, sexual violence, and child marriage in Ghana. Since 2013, O.U.R. has expanded into more than 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states, providing operations and aftercare efforts that have led to the rescue of more than 5,000 child sex trafficking survivors and the arrest of more than 4,000 predators.

David Jacobs, O.U.R. Chief Global Operation Manager, said the organization is honored to serve Ghana and is optimistic the merger will help both organizations to make an even greater impact on behalf of the country’s children who’ve been victimized by sex trafficking.

For example, O.U.R. recently provided diapers, food, clothing, and medical support for a 12-year-old survivor in Ghana who had a baby after being trafficked. The organization furnished funds for DNA testing for the trafficker who denied paternity and supplied medical support, police investigation facilitation, legal assistance, and counseling for three additional minor survivors.

At the announcement, O.U.R. Ghana presented ten laptops to the Ghana Police Anti Trafficking Unit.

Robyn Jesse Ern, A.R.C. Founder, noted at the event that her organization has made a big difference in Ghana but looks forward to increased activities and the raising of additional funds to do even more to stop human trafficking and gender-based violence.

Former Ghana Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Nana Oye Bampoe Addo spoke at the launch about the need for shelters and education throughout the country and praised O.U.R.’s approach to help stop trafficking. “O.U.R. Ghana has now added the teaching of self-defense,” she said. “This is innovative.”

Global Outreach in Ecuador

On another continent, following the arrest of a member of an alleged pedophile ring in Mexico, O.U.R. digital forensics experts found a photo that led them to a hotel in a remote part of Ecuador. The ongoing investigation revealed the suspects were exploiting the children’s hunger in the region to lure them into the hotel with the promise of meals.

Law enforcement successfully arrested the predators. The community organized volunteers to start a small kitchen in the rear of a beauty salon to feed vulnerable children. O.U.R. is assisting with the expansion of the kitchen by remodeling an adjacent area for children to sit comfortably while eating their meals.

Additionally, O.U.R. is providing cooking equipment, creating weekly menus with appropriate nutritious meals and recruiting parents to prepare food for as many as 350 children per day and is now supporting the kitchen in providing the only hot and nutritious meal of the day for most of these children.

About Operation Underground Railroad

Operation Underground Railroad is a nonprofit organization that works with law enforcement around the world to extract children from slavery and then place survivors on a path to recovery by partnering with vetted aftercare providers. O.U.R. will continue its rescue, aftercare and prevention programs, while leveraging research for new public and private support. For more information visit www.OURrescue.org.

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Cheryl Conner