Taking Down Trafficking

UNITE and Partners International to bring speaker who helps sex slavery victims in India Smita Singh helped rescue 171 sex slaves from brothels in India over five years time. Singh will share the stories of some of those girls — as well as explain the work she does — in a lecture at Whitworth next Tuesday.

Singh works with International Justice Mission and Partners International to rescue girls from sex slavery. She is a woman doing real things, changing real lives, and being a part of an active world, said junior Audrey Evans, associate director of UNITE.

Courtesy of Partners International Smita Singh, creator of Mahima Care Home in India for rescued sex slaves, will speak about human trafficking at Whitworth on Tuesday.

Junior Bethany Carrillo, an intern at Partners International, said Singh serves as a good spokesperson for those affected by trafficking.

“On this specific topic [of human trafficking] it’s rare to have someone so in the trenches of the issues and in the brunt of it all and very hands on,” Carrillo said.

Singh created Mahima Care Home, which serves as a care rehabilitation center for girls rescued from sex trafficking.

After healing, the biggest issue in protecting and rehabilitating the rescued girls is preventing re-trafficking, according to the Partners International website.

According to the Partners’ website, “To accomplish this, Smita and her team recognized the need for modular programs that took a rescued child from healing to rehabilitation to education and vocational training in order to reintegrate girls into society.”

The Mahima Care Home is the first Christian aftercare program licensed by the Indian government. UNITE, Whitworth’s anti-trafficking club, donates money to support the home.

Singh will share stories about Mahima Care Home when she speaks at Whitworth next week.

“She will be talking about her stories and what recovery looks like once the girls have been rescued, both financially and emotionally,” Carrillo said, adding that Singh’s lecture brings a face to the ministry.

“We hear about human trafficking a lot and it kind of gets glossed over,” Carrillo said. “I encourage students to check [the lecture] out and see the value and the cultural perspective Smita can bring.”

After the presentation, there will be a question and answer panel with Singh, Molly Hough (another associate director of UNITE), Carrillo and a pastor who did his biblical dissertation on the biblical response to human trafficking.

Evans said people will see multiple levels of the issue: the tangible ways to help victims of trafficking on an international level, the local perspective, and what they can do to help.

Partners and UNITE planned the event together. Evans said Partners heard about UNITE and wanted to work with Whitworth. The two organizations met, brainstormed, and chose to bring Singh.

“What she is doing shows the collaboration with individuals, which resonates with UNITE and what we want to do,” Evans said. “We believe in what she does. She focuses on the process, not just rescuing the people and forgetting about aftercare.”

By attending the lecture, students will be able to learn about Singh’s process.

“We can learn how we can follow our passions, whether that is anti-human trafficking or something else,” Evans said. “Students can take values they learn and apply it to their passion.”

The lecture will be April 23 in Robinson Teaching Theatre at 7 p.m.

Madison Garner Staff Writer

Contact Madison Garner at mgarner16@my.whitworth.edu