You probably know by now that I’m all about having difficult yet necessary conversations, and this episode with Tim Ballard is no exception. Tim is an anti-human trafficking activist, author, and the founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad. His work has both inspired me and made me feel incredibly naive about what goes on under our noses in most communities across the country and the world.
Tim spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and was deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings, both in the United States and in multiple foreign countries. He has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued children from slavery and exploitation.
While working for the government, Tim saw how much more needed to be done in the fight against child trafficking and exploitation across the world. In 2013, Tim and a team of former government operatives left the security of their careers to go about the work of rescuing children as a private foundation – Operation Underground Railroad. At O.U.R., Tim envisioned a team that could work in any jurisdiction and work with law enforcement to rescue children directly. That team exists today all over the world.
01:46 The effects of the pandemic on child abuse
03:44 Child trafficking
12:38 Educational grooming
15:14 Sex education
20:00 Teenagers should be able to talk with professionals
24:43 How does human trafficking commonly happen?
31:16 Greatest challenge in fighting the issue
34:19 Not wanting to know the truth
37:21 How you can protect the children
38:43 Is it happening everywhere?
40:28 Impact of pornography