A leading organization that spreads the gospel throughout Asia doesn't have to look far to rescue children from a dismal life.
Slavery did not end when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, says Daniel Yohannan of Gospel for Asia. It is happening all over the world, he says, even to children.
“Especially in places like Asia and Africa it's more prevalent,” he advises, “and it's almost kind of a normal thing to have especially children who are working in factories and who basically are slaves.”
There are an estimated 218 million slaves worldwide, many of them children, that would represent the population of a large country.
The young people are also forced into the sex trade and bonded labor, and Yhannan says most are not even teens. Most are under the age of 11.
Gospel for Asia says Bangladesh is the world's worst abuser of child labor followed by Chad, the Congo, Ethiopia, and India.
“They're beaten. They're verbally abused,” he says. “Malnutrition takes place. Many times the family is deceived in promising a job. Instead the kids are taken away and misused and abused.”
An estimated 2.7 million die each year because of mistreatment.
Yohannan says that's why Gospel for Asia's Bridge of Hope is important because they've helped children return to their families. The children are fed, clothed, and provided an education to help them stay out of child labor enslavement.
An in-depth Gospel for Asia report about worldwide slave labor can be read here.