Human trafficking is illegal, but it is big business. A Bakersfield church is shining a light on the darkest side of the human trafficking trade, selling children for sex.
The women's ministry at Canyon Hills Assembly of God hoped to raise at least $40,000 Friday to help two missionary groups that rescue girls from human trafficking in Nepal and India.
They were holding stop signs and stopping traffic throughout Bakersfield Friday, to help put a stop to child sex trafficking. Every year, they raise money to benefit women and children somewhere in the world.
This year, the money will help rescue girls coming across the border from Nepal into India, where as many as 7,000 girls are trafficked every year.
"Sometimes the parents will unknowingly sell their daughter, being told, if you let us have your daughter we will help her get an education," said Cynthia Giumarra. "She'll live in a better family. She'll have a better opportunity for a job when she's older."
"They're being told these things that are untrue only to find out the girls are actually being sold, evaluated and then sent into either prostitution or domestic labor, depending on how they look," she continued.
Giumarra said some of these girls are as young as seven or eight years old and they are brutalized as many as 20 to 30 times a day.
If you want to learn more about how you can help, call Canyon Hills Assembly of God church at 871-1150 and ask for the women's ministry.