You thought Bad Penny was fiction?

How about former CIA operatives and Navy Seals forming a private group to rescue child slaves?

Last January, Ballard made a bold move and left his job to form his own team of former CIA operatives and Navy Seals who operate undercover to bust child slavery rings

. . . . .

Ballard’s organization is called Operation Underground Railroad, and members call themselves abolitionists. The references to 19th-century slave liberation are deliberate.

There are currently 25 million people living in slavery, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index research released by anti-trafficking organization Walk Free Foundation. The U.S. State Department puts the figure closer to 21 million, and about two million of those slaves are children.

Ballard’s line of work has opened his eyes to a problem most people are blind to — the fact that there are more people living in slavery now than at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

. . . . .

Ballard knows better than anyone just how easy it is to buy a child. In an operation in Haiti earlier this year, he posed as a trafficker and visited an orphanage where two children — a brother and sister ages 2 and 3 — were sold to him for $15,000 apiece.

That’s the going rate for a child, says Ballard, and over time, the owner can make millions of dollars by selling the child for sex or forced labor.

Read the rest at Heroes of 2014Become an abolitionist here.

Then go on to read about another hero–the Iron Angel–who is helping folks out of another kind of slavery.

Then a third called the Vicar of Bagdad, who has had over 1,000 of his flock killed for their beliefs.

Here’s the full list of the six featured heroes.

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One Response to You thought Bad Penny was fiction?

  1. J Adams says:

    This is awesome.