Real Life

16 year-old Queenslander Jordyn Archer: I save five-year-olds from sex trafficking

While most 16-year-old girls are worrying about their weight and obsessing over boys, Jordyn Archer was saving children who had been trafficked for sex.

Queenslander Jordyn Archer in Cambodia, where she travelled to help victims of child sex trafficking.
As hearing about child sex trafficking from a friend's dad who worked in the area, Jordyn began volunteering at Australian-based charity Destiny Rescue, which is fighting to end child abuse and slavery.
"I couldn't know what was going on without doing something about it," she says.
She began fundraising in her spare time, organising charity concerts while juggling her school work and family life. Within two years, she had raised more than $33,000.
Now 22, Jordyn works for Destiny Rescue and recently spent four months in Cambodia working with child sex victims first hand.
"The stories you hear are very disturbing," she says. "One of the youngest victims I worked with was just five when she was trafficked for sex, and she was expected to service up to 10 men a night.
"These girls are taken by traffickers from their families who are destitute, the pimps promising their parents they'll get well-paid jobs to send money back home."
The promises are false, with tiny, pre-pubescent girls turned into prostitutes to service the ever-growing sex trade.
"Sadly, most of the girls' clients are Australian or American men who travel to South East Asia to find cheap sex," Jordyn says, adding that "post-season footy trips have a lot to answer for".
Destiny Rescue targets areas that have high levels of under-age prostitution, taking the girls to a safe house where they are eventually trained into other professions, giving them a genuine chance at escaping a life of prostitution.
The charity also tries to educate families who may be targeted by child sex traffickers, warning them about the high risk of prostitution that comes with accepting overly lucrative job offers from strangers.
"Some of the families involved genuinely think they're giving their kids away for a better start," Jordyn says. "Others know what their girls will be doing, but turn a blind eye – seeing it as a way out of poverty."
During her four months in Cambodia, Jordyn managed a café in the country, teaching girls hospitality skills including espresso coffee making.
"The stats are staggering: every 26 seconds a child is trafficked somewhere in the world for sex, which equates to 1.2 million kids a year.
"I like hearing the positive stories, the kids that have escaped, and turned their life around."
For her work in the charity sphere, Jordyn is the Queensland finalist for the Young Australian of the Year awards.
"A friend nominated me, and it was pretty amazing to meet all the other finalists at the awards ceremony," she says.
When pressed that most other young Aussies don't spend as much time worrying about the less fortunate as she does, Jordyn is pragmatic.
"Ultimately, I'd like to work in this sphere closer to home – I'm learning that there are a lot of women in Australia who have been trafficked for sex, and they need support too," she says.
"Hearing the good stories, the happy outcomes, that's what keeps you going."
To read more about Jordyn's work, visit the Destiny Rescue website.

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