Modern Day Slavery:

Human Trafficking

There is an evil lurking in today’s world and the number of victims falling prey to its clutches is steadily increasing around the world. Slavery seems like a concept from the distant past, but it still exists today in the form of human trafficking.

While sex trafficking of women is a major problem and is often the main feature in stories, traffickers don’t discriminate based on gender — both males and females can be trafficked for sex, labor, for their organs, as soldiers, for begging, or marriage. In fact, most victims of forced labor trafficking are men.

It should be no surprise that human trafficking is such a prevalent crime.

Think about it — You can only sell a drug or weapon once, but you can sell a human for profit over and over and over again.

Orphans are Prime Targets

You may be wondering why an organization mainly known for serving orphans is involved in the fight against human trafficking. Allies in Youth Development quickly became aware of the realities of everyday trafficking not long after volunteers began building relationships with children in the orphanages. The reality for these children was astonishing.

As young as 16 years old, children were “aging out” of the orphanage, meaning the government was saying, “So long, we won’t feed you anymore. You’re on your own.” These children are sent into the world with no education, no formal training, no job connections, no life skills, and no family support.

With no prospects and no place to live, they are vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking, prostitution, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide. According to research, the average life expectancy of orphans is less than 30 years.

Orphans are a prime target for human traffickers because they are alone and have few options for the future. Traffickers offering a way to make a living entrap these children into evils they cannot escape.

Allies started a number of programs aimed at engaging, educating, and empowering orphans so they can be spared from the tactics of traffickers and have a brighter future.

Allies Programs Fight This War

Through the Allies Mentoring Program (AMP) and the Allies Tutoring Program, we have seen dramatic results in changing the lives of orphans. AMP sends in-country volunteers to visit orphanages and develop lasting relationships with orphans. Also during these visits, Allies holds seminars about the dangers of human trafficking and the tactics used by traffickers.

Along with providing much needed love and friendship, our goals also include tutoring orphans to pass college entrance exams or assisting them with finding a trade school. We then connect them with a job network afterward. We believe in maintaining those relationships so mentors can ensure orphans find success after they have left the orphanage.

How Allies Makes a Difference

Allies helps orphans and young women financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Through this support and prevention, many are spared from becoming victims of human trafficking.

Here are just a few examples.


We first met Michaela six years ago when she was studying at an orphanage in Nisporeni, Moldova. About two years ago, she found us on a social network and asked for help. She was a single mom at age 17 after the father left her despite his promises to marry her. Instead, he disappeared and would not help with their son. Michaela had plans to leave the baby with her grandmother and go work abroad, but we convinced her to stay rather than put herself at risk of becoming an easy target for traffickers.

Michaela lives in a small village where it is difficult to find a job and has no money and no support. That’s where Allies stepped in to assist her monthly with groceries, personal hygiene products, diapers, and baby clothes. She is grateful to Allies for giving her the opportunity to raise her son.



Katya’s mother remarried and had another little girl who got all the attention while Katya grew up in the Bulboaca, Moldova orphanage. After she graduated high school, she entered college in Chisinau. The problem was she had no support from her family and no money for her schooling. Thanks to Allies, she was able to go to school to become a caregiver.

Allies paid for her dorm room as well as her monthly expenses. Katya attended a home Bible study every week, came to us for advice, and asked for prayer for her and her relationship with her family. Katya returned to her village and got a job after graduating college, all made possible because of the support she received from Allies.



Andriana also grew up in the Bulboaca orphanage because her mother remarried and didn’t want to care for her. She went to college with Katya, and Allies also helped her with monthly expenses. The most important thing, as she says, was the friendship and support she found in Allies. Andriana would often come to us and talk about her problems and needs.

We would pray with her and give her advice. Andriana now lives and works in her village where she takes care of her sick grandmother, and she and Katya both joined us as volunteers. Andriana appreciates the assistance Allies provided which allowed her to get an education and have that consistent emotional support.


Rescuing Victoria

In some cases, Allies pulls victims out of this darkness and/or walks with them as they recover from the trauma of it. In Ukraine, we met Victoria who has autism. She was experiencing “hell on earth” when she was sold again and again — just for alcohol. She lived with hunger in a dirty house full of drunk people. She didn’t even have a comb or toothbrush.

Victoria somehow got access to a phone and through social media, connected with someone who is a friend with an Allies volunteer. Those two women rescued Victoria from the horror she was living in and found her a safe place to live.

Victoria now has many friends and is cared for and loved by others. She is a happy girl who smiles often and loves to hug others. We are so glad we could play a part in saving her from unthinkable circumstances.

Allies in Youth connected with Unbound Now,
an organization fighting human trafficking worldwide, to save more lives.

Allison Byrd from Unbound Now traveled to Ukraine in December 2022 to lead a training workshop for 20 of our Ukrainian area leaders. She shared with the group statistics including: 

99 ½% victims die in exploitation
Within 48 hours, children who run away are approached by traffickers.
After the war in Ukraine started in February 2022, there was a 600% increase of internet searches for sex with Ukrainian women.

Allison taught the area leaders on topics like — What is human trafficking?
What does it look like? How can they intervene in safe ways?  
She told them to pay attention to how people act, not just go by how they look. For example, women were found dressed as aid workers at the Ukrainian border to lure trafficking victims.

We are grateful to have these partnerships and the tools to equip Allies leaders and volunteers with the ability to save orphans and other vulnerable women and children from this evil.

What Can You Do?

UNICEF estimates there are 153 million orphans in the world, so there are many more children who are in danger.

Believe it or not, human trafficking and modern slavery are vast problems in every country around the world. We have seen the positive results of the preventative model we use in our programs. Now that you know the dangers these children face, we invite you to partner with us to empower these children to change their future!

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