Where does the

money go?

All money raised goes to Tearfund’s ‘Modern Slavery’ cause which combats human trafficking and exploitation. Funds contribute to both International and New Zealand projects.


The money raised through Tearfund Poverty Cycle will help support International and local projects. 4.8 million are victims of forced commercial sexual exploitation (approximately the population of New Zealand!) 

Tearfund’s Modern Slavery cause combats human trafficking and exploitation through five partners in five countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Fiji. We work across the spectrum in prevention, prosecution and rehabilitation. 

New Zealand

24/7 YouthWork

An out-of-school, extra-curricular programme that addresses a broad range of needs for mainstream youth. With 175 youth workers in 72 schools nationwide, this successful and unique youth work initiative sees youth workers from over 100 local churches supporting and encouraging young people in practical ways.



Panit’s story of surviving childhood abuse

Panit* is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His mum died when he was five and his dad died a few years later. Panit had no family left to care for him. He would stay with friends, sleep at the video game store or just on the street. He was homeless for a year. During his time of vulnerability, several men sexually abused him. They would lure him with money. He eventually found help through Tearfund's partner, LIFT. Panit received the justice he deserved. Panit’s offender got 16 years in jail and he was awarded NZ $2,500. Now he can focus on healing and his future. 

*Name changed to protect identity of survivor



"My offender getting a sentence helped me to get the closure I needed,” he says. “Thanks to LIFT, I don’t have to think about it all the time.”.

Poverty Cycle making a difference for trafficking survivors, like Fah.

At the age of 16, *Fah was invited by relatives in Thailand to work in a bar but the reality was horrific and one shared by many of the people Tearfund’s partners deal with daily. Fah grew up in rural Laos on her parent’s farm.

She remembers being happy and not having to worry about anything. “I was 16 when my relatives invited me to work in Thailand. They told me I would be serving drinks.” She decided to join another young girl in her village and take the opportunity to go to Thailand and make money. She didn’t have a passport, but she got a border pass that allowed her to travel into Thailand.

Once there, she was taken to her place of work and found out it was a karaoke bar. Her “work” wasn’t only selling drinks; she was also expected to have sex with paying customers. The house that was provided for her and the other girls was filthy. Each morning, Fah would wake up at 6 am. She would do the laundry before going to the bar to wait for customers. Once they came in, she would try to get the men to buy drinks and snacks. After some hanging out at the bar, customers would pay her bar fine so that they could leave the bar with her. Usually, they went to a hotel room. Some of the men were nice to her, and some were bad. Even though she wanted to go home, she didn’t know how to get back. She was brought by her relatives and had overstayed her border pass.

Without her knowledge, an investigator from Tearfund’s partner, LIFT, had identified her as a trafficking victim.

One night, police and LIFT’s team joined forces to remove her from exploitation. In the immediate aftermath, she was very scared. LIFT’s social worker, Chu, was there and explained to her that she wasn’t arrested, even though she thought she was. Chu stayed with her and helped her that night. Fah thought she would only be held at the government shelter a few days, but to testify in court against her offender, she had to stay for months.

When she was there, LIFT’s social workers visited her and brought her a Love Pack of toiletries and supplies. She testified in court and waited for a verdict. Eventually, she was sent home to Laos.

In total, she worked at the karaoke bar for three months. She brought the money she made home to her parents. For a while, when she was detained by police and then in the government shelter, her parents didn’t know where she was, and they cried every day. She doesn’t know if they know about the sex; they believed she was working at a restaurant in Thailand. Fah has returned to live with her parents in their village.

She helps take care of the house and cook for the family while they are farming. Her life has returned to normal for a teenage girl. She’s happy. She is maturing, learning more about herself and how to fight for herself. She hopes to get married one day and have a family. She also wants to learn more skills. She took several months of a beauty salon vocational training course provided by the Laos government. During that time, the LIFT Life Fund helped her have money for rent and food.

She has developed a close relationship with LIFT’s Aftercare team and seeks out their advice and support as she navigates her future. Fah shared her story in the hope that it would help other girls like her.

*Not her real name.


What’s the focus of Tearfund’s Modern Slavery cause?

Tearfund’s Modern Slavery (Formerly known as Protect) cause combats human trafficking and exploitation, working across the spectrum in prevention, prosecution and rehabilitation. We work through five partners in five nations – Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Fiji and Sri Lanka. In 2017, our Modern Slavery work impacted more than 7000 people caught in modern-day slavery across these five countries.

How many people are trapped in human trafficking and exploitation worldwide?

An estimated 40.3 million people are trapped in slavery today. Around 25 million people are enslaved in forced labour exploitation. Of this, 4.8 million are victims of forced commercial sexual exploitation and 99% of these victims are women and girls. The estimated annual profit generated through human trafficking and slavery is $230 billion (NZD). Of that, commercial sexual exploitation generates $150 billion. 

Does this only happen in one area of the world, or is it a global issue?

Modern slavery occurs in every region of the world. It is most prevalent in Africa (7.6 per 1,000 people), followed by Asia and the Pacific (6.1 per 1,000) then Europe and Central Asia (3.9 per 1,000). Forced labour is highest in Asia and the Pacific, where four out of every 1,000 people are victims.

What do you mean by slavery? What do you mean by human trafficking? What’s the difference?

The ILO describes slavery as situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power. The UN defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. If a child is recruited with the intention of exploitation, this is automatically classed as trafficking regardless of whether coercion is used or not. In short, trafficking is the process by which someone becomes exploited, and slavery is the situation of exploitation they cannot refuse or leave.