At base, money laundering is the act of taking “dirty money” – money that results from criminal acts – and making it appear “legitimate” by routing the money through an institution to launder it, thus hiding the fact that the money originated from criminal activities. Obviously, cash that is generated by selling children for sex in a brothel is “dirty” money. With experts estimating that somewhere between $32 - $150 billion USD being generated in profits from human slavery yearly, simple logic dictates that much of this “dirty” money is making its making its way into the worlds’ banks and being laundered.
Banks are required to NOT knowingly allow their institutions to launder money for criminals. A bank that has credible evidence that dirty money is being routed into its branches and does not take appropriate measures can suffer massive fines and criminal indictments of its executives, as noted recently by the New York Times:
State and federal authorities decided against indicting ...[BANK] in a money-laundering case over
concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destablilize the global financial system. The bank announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to a record $1.92 billion settlement with authorities. The bank, which is based in Britain, faces accusations that it transferred billions of dollars for nations like Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to move money illegally through its American subsidiaries.
As is evident, anti-money laundering regulations provide a novel potential solution to the slavery problem. Justice Be Done is partnering with executives at some of the world’s largest financial institutions to ensure they are set up to receive evidence of money laundering which is currently being generated by child sex slavery and labor trafficking rings, and that these banks are further educated on measures -- like account suspension -- which financial institutions are required to take under relevant laws upon receipt of credible evidence of money laundering.
While it is tempting to demonize families complicit in trafficking their children, the sad reality is that many parents in southeast Asia are faced with a dilemma few of us can imagine: watching their families slowly starve ... or choosing to sell one of their children to ensure survival of the rest. Such situations beg for solutions that are not dependent on slavery and trafficking.
Justice Be Done knows that gentle education programs combined with micro-finance opportunities present the answer to this dilemma. Most of the villagers whom we contact are adept at making beautiful hand-crafts. Such young women -- paired with an opportunity to sell their items at a decent profit and receive education which alerts them to the dangers posed by the sex trade -- are given a much-needed answer and escape to the poverty that fuels the brothel industry. Domestically and abroad, Justice Be Done supports initiatives that educate youth against the ploys of traffickers, and provides them vocational opportunities which immunize them from the false promises of sex traffickers.
Justice Be Done is spearheading the establishment of a shelter in the Mekong Delta for victims of child sex trafficking. The need for a safe and tranquil place for restoration of young girls -- many of whom were sold as virgins into brothels by their impoverished families -- is paramount. It is here that young girls and women may receive counseling, and begin their journey toward true freedom.
Because very young children locked in brothels cannot and do not rescue themselves, Justice Be Done runs undercover crews of highly trained former military & law enforcement assets to conduct surveillance of traffickers recruiting and selling children. Once sufficient evidence is amassed, Justice Be Done partners with local law enforcement to see that perpetrators are brought to justice, and the children rescued.