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hen we met Jane, she was two years old. Her mom had been trafficked to Asia years before but was no longer under control of a pimp or trafficker. Still, her visa was expired, she had very few opportunities to make money, and she lived in constant fear of the police.
Jane had been born in Asia but didn't have any birth certificate or passport-- only complicating the legal process of repatriation.
Due to their visa status, Jane and her mom were often exploited by their landlords. They were paying twice as much as the market rate and were forced to agree to impossible terms:
If Jane's mom wanted to leave the house, they had to do so when it was dark-- either early morning or late at night. They weren't allowed to come or go during daylight. No visitors were allowed. And if they wanted to stay at home, they had to be completely silent-- too much baby crying or laughing would result in eviction.
Can you imagine a toddler's life under these conditions?
After meeting with Jane's mom, we were able to help her find an apartment where they had freedom of mobility. She was suddenly free to visit friends, go see a doctor, or stay at home and rest. Jane was free to play with her toys and cry as all toddlers do at times. We helped Jane get a birth certificate and travel document so they could go through the immigration process to be safely repatriated home. We provided medical care and a minor infection that had been bothering Jane's mom for YEARS was quickly healed.
Sometimes freedom doesn't look like dramatic raids or rescue-- it looks like helping mothers obtain and enjoy basic human rights for both themselves and their children.
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