As Bradley Wiggins heads for the summit of the Tour de France, two friends of mine are heading for the top of our land, having begun at its end. Ali and Lydia are cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in eight days. That’s 850 miles in eight days. Eight. Along with their saddle sores, Ali - a massive cycling fan - is probably feeling a bit down for missing out on being able to watch Wiggins' triumph.
Their effort is designed to highlight a much greater challenge, the rescue of people who are being exploited and trafficked around the world. Justice and Care is an organisation founded by another friend of mine that does incredible work in rescuing children and other vulnerable people from horrible abuse, prosecuting those who have wronged them, and fighting to stop these crimes from happening.
You can help by giving here.
Justice and Care’s website contains many stories of terrible darkness and rays of light. Girls sold into sexual slavery who managed to escape or were rescued by the bravery and dedication of the team. The numbers only hint at what is involved:
- 638 trafficked women and children rescued
- 285 perpetrators arrested
- 126 prosecution cases handled
- 348 women and children repatriated
- 247 women and children supported in their Victim Protection Program
- Trained over 3800 police officers, public prosecutors and community leaders on the protection of vulnerable persons and victims of trafficking
Justice and Care have recently been recognised by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre for their excellent work, being awarded Outstanding Contribution to International Child Protection. In the CEOP’s own words,
“The assistance that you and your team have provided to CEOP in its work to disrupt the activities of UK nationals who travel to abuse children has been exemplary and we appreciate that it goes above and beyond what is normally your role. Your work has been extremely impressive and the value you add is considerable... Justice and Care operate, at great personal risk, but with local and political strategic knowledge in a very difficult and sometimes hostile environment... Undoubtedly, this has ensured that children have been protected as a direct result of your actions.”You can follow Ali and Lydia’s epic ride on Facebook and Twitter, but they would much rather you gave support in any way you can to Justice and Care such as giving here.