Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 29, 2011

Until All Are Free

Houston en route to Dubai | 28 March 2011

Today’s issue of the Khaleej Times, Dubai’s English language newspaper, featured a story that caught my attention: “Woman Jailed for Human Trafficking.” I am always happy to see stories like this in print because they help to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking and because they help to educate people about how traffickers operate. There are common denominators in every story about human trafficking. The 21 year-old victim in today’s story, a Moldavian national, summed it up best. She was lured to work in Dubai by the promise of honest employment. However, once she arrived in Dubai, she was forced into the flesh trade “by coercion, beating and confinement” — the methods most commonly used by sex traffickers to trap and subdue their victims.

Deception | Many of the stories of sex trafficking victims begin with an account of how they were deceived and lured away from their homes by people they trusted. Jesus said that the devil “is a liar and the father of lies” (John8:44). And, those in league with the devil know how to cleverly use lies and deception. Isaiah 32:7 states, “As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right.”

Coercion | Coercion by definition refers to making someone do something by force or intimidation without regard to that individual’s personal will or desire. The young victim told police that the 38 year-old Uzbek woman that lured her to Dubai “forced her to work as a prostitute.” The young woman said, “When she told me I would work as a prostitute I was shocked.” But, trapped and far from home, the young woman saw “no way out.”

Beating | The young victim told police that the Uzbek woman, the brothel madam, “had hit her when she reused to work.” Sex traffickers often beat their victims into submission or threaten to beat and kill their family members if they refuse to service clients. These young women are psychologically and emotionally manipulated and live under constant threat of physical harm.

Confinement | The young Moldavian national reported that she was confined to a room with eight other women, all Moldavians, that had also been lured away from their homes and forced to work as prostitutes. She said that she and the other girls were locked up in an apartment where they serviced clients or were taken to other locations to have sex with clients.

Ironically, the young woman was able to escape because a client gave her the phone number to the police. And, in time, she found a way to call the police who were able to rescue her and place her in the care of the Human Trafficking Section of the police department. The Uzbek madam was arrested, tried, and convicted on charges of human trafficking and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. However it happens, I am always glad when the plans of the wicked are frustrated and they are held accountable for the harm they have caused others. Job 5:12 says that it is God who “frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.”

The young Moldavian woman’s escape from her captors is another small victory in the on-going battle for justice. Every victory matters because it represents another captive set free. Psalm 82:3-4 charge us to “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” May we indeed pray for and work on behalf of those held captive by the wicked until all are free.


  1. Omar once I was in Dubai and I stayed at hotel. I am trying to remember the name but I was on a shopping trip with ladies from Saudi Arabia and we had to have letters from our husbands to leave Saudi. As we arrived at the Hotel we noticed the Lobby had a lot of women and a club on the first floor of the hotel but someone talked to one of the girls and she was from Russia. She told us she was brought to Saudi to work after we were at the Hotel for a couple of days we always went to our rooms early from a day of sightseeing and none of us ventured out unless accompanied by escorts. We figured out that we were staying in a working girl Hotel. I had often thought the girls wanted to be there and I did not consider at that time they could have been slaves. It is amazing how Jesus opens our eyes to seeing the struggles of others.

  2. Please pray for Afghans who live in the UAE.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks for submitting your comment. Yes, we will remember to pray for Afghans who are living in the UAE.

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