World Hope International
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‘It’s Easy To Find Victims—Justice Is More Complicated’

Inside Sierra Leone's only human-trafficking trauma center. 

By Nina Strochlic.

Janet Nickel is the anti-trafficking technical coordinator for World Hope International, which operates the Trafficking in Persons Recovery Center, the only holistic high-trauma care center in Sierra Leone. The U.S. State Department recently upgraded the country’s ranking in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. Here, Nickel shares her experiences treating victims in the aftermath of the war-ravaged nation.

I had been working in Sierra Leone for many years, starting in 1980. I was teaching before I had to leave because of the war in 1995. I’d wanted to go back to Sierra Leone, and the opportunity opened to work with World Hope International and [its] Relief Anti-Human-Trafficking Project in 2004. Up until that time there had been no anti-trafficking messages, no understanding of what human trafficking was, no statistics.