In the fall of 2002, Rob Morris stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a Southeast Asian brothel with a group of men who were staring hungrily at young girls through a pane of glass. The girls were identified only by the numbers pinned to their red dresses.
Posing as a john -- or a man who wanted to purchase young girls for sex -- Morris went in undercover with a team of investigators gathering evidence against the brothel. Morris, a longtime humanitarian, saw through the glass a number of girls -- some 11 or 12 years old -- staring blankly at cartoons on the television while their bodies were auctioned.
"Except one girl," his website reads. "One girl who wouldn't watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes."
That one girl was the inspiration for LOVE146, a nonprofit organization dedicated to survivor care, prevention education, professional training and an empowering movement to end child trafficking.
Morris had originally wanted to take action immediately after witnessing events at the brothel, Ryan Day, LOVE146 spokesperson told HuffPost. But he had joined an ongoing investigation and was not in a position to compromise the authorities' work.
While some might imagine child and sex trafficking as a problem present only in the developing world, the truth is it exists right here in America and across the globe. Unfortunately, many are misinformed or ignorant to the reality of human trafficking.
Interested in helping? Watch Phan's video above or check out love146.org's "take action" page.
Clarification: The headline originally said Morris witnessed a sex auction.