10 000 people are trafficked through Kazakhstan every year. These people literally just disappear. They are lured into jobs elsewhere thinking they can earn better money. Thinking they are being offered wonderful opportunities to better their circumstances, they end up in slavery.
Operation Mercy runs anti-human trafficking workshops in schools, colleges and universities to make students aware of the reality of human trafficking in Kazakhstan. One particularly effective visual aid used in these workshops depicts two posters hanging side by side, in the way they might be seen at a bus stop. The first poster is offering work and asks young women who fit certain physical appearance criteria to call a contact person about a modeling job. The second poster is a missing person’s poster with a picture of a young girl; her physical appearance matches the requirements listed on the poster offering work.
One by one the students begin to make the connection between the two posters and realize the scenario that is depicted, that the parents of the girl in the second poster were looking for their daughter who had replied to the ad in the first poster. Often the students are amazed as they learn how easily one can get caught in trafficking.
It is our goal that by increasing their awareness of the reality of human trafficking, more of Kazakhstan’s younger generations will avoid the horrifying experiences that so many others have endured.