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Night after night, agents from Destiny Rescue — an international not-for-profit organization — enter some of the darkest places on the planet to find and rescue children trapped in sexual exploitation or trafficking.

In this must-listen episode, I’m joined by Paul Mergard — CEO of Destiny Rescue Australia — to discuss the critical work his organization does to rescue children from sexual exploitation, the horrifying reality and scope of the worldwide sex trafficking trade, the crucial steps and support needed AFTER rescuing children to help them stay free, and how we ALL need to play a role in ending this global injustice for good.

As you might expect, this conversation is challenging, confronting and deeply touching. What you might not expect though, is that it’s also hugely inspiring. Because as you’ll hear, Paul’s fundamental message is that this is a problem that CAN be solved, and we — as individuals — can play a critical, needle-moving, life-changing role in securing these children’s safety and their future. Please do not delay: press play now and prepare to have your mind blown and your heart changed forever.

To become a rescue partner, please visit this page to find out how you can help.

(Content note: this episode contains discussion of child sexual exploitation. If this topic is difficult for you, please proceed with care.)

About Paul Mergard

For the past 20 years, Paul has worked for leading International Not-For-Profits Destiny Rescue, Compassion Australia and The Salvation Army to help change the lives of children who live in poverty and slavery. In 2019, Paul joined the Destiny Rescue Australia team as Executive Partnerships Manager and in early 2021 was appointed as CEO Destiny Rescue Australia.

He has campaigned tirelessly on these issues to raise awareness and effect changes that have had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children. After hearing a child trapped in bonded labor say, “I do have dreams, but my dreams will never come true, so don’t let me dream at all,” Paul committed himself to doing what he could to give children trapped in a life of exploitation and abuse the opportunity to dream big dreams, because it’s the right of every child.

With an accounting background, originally working with KPMG, and a Graduate Diploma in International Development, Paul is passionate about the critical role Destiny Rescue plays rescuing children who are being exploited. Paul lives in Queensland with his wife and their two boys.

In this episode we chat about:

  • The moment I first encountered Destiny Rescue and their incredible work (3:28)
  • Their mission to rescue children from sexual exploitation (and importantly, how they help kids and their families AFTER they’ve been rescued) (5:48)
  • The horrifying reality of sex trafficking and the mindblowing scope of this global problem (8:56)
  • How the words of one child inspired Paul to devote his life to fighting against sex slavery (14:13)
  • Who are the traffickers and why do they do this kind of job? (22:25)
  • The critical link between illicit drugs and human trafficking (24:54)
  • The shocking number of human beings that are being trafficked right now and how they are sold (27:11)
  • Here’s what you can do to help save a child’s life (33:59)
  • How to maintain hope and mental wellbeing while doing this kind of work (46:24)

Episode resources:

  • Mastering Your Mean Girl (book)
  • Open Wide (book)
  • Comparisonitis (book)
  • Destiny Rescue (website)
  • The Tinder Swindler (watch)
  • My breastfeeding meditation (here)
  • Become a rescue partner (here)
  • Episode #486: Digital Hygiene, Screen Time, Brain Health & Protecting Our Kids | Dr Victoria Dunckley (podcast)
  • Episode #389: Ending Child Sex Slavery | Tim Ballard (podcast)

Thank you so much for listening. I’m so honored that you’re here and would be SO grateful if you could leave me a review on Apple podcasts, that way we can inspire and educate even more people together.

P.S. If you’re looking for a high-impact marketing opportunity for your business and are interested in becoming a sponsor for The Melissa Ambrosini Show podcast, please email pr@melissaambrosini.com for more information.

P.P.S. Please seek advice from a qualified holistic practitioner before starting any new health practice.

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Hi Gorgeous, I'm Melissa.

Multiple bestselling author, #1 podcast host and TEDx speaker.



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