Wednesday, March 11, 2009

International Justice Mission

The International Justice Mission is a unique ministry; their stated purpose “is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.” They do this through four primary means: Victim Relief, Perpetrator Accountability, Victim Aftercare, and Structural Prevention.”

To get a glimpse of the problem, watch this video . . .

IJM was founded in 1997 by Gary Haugen. At the time he was working as a lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice and as the United Nations’ Investigator in Charge in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. It was his experience in Rwanda that motivated him to take a huge step of faith and found IJM. The IJM website says: “Today, IJM has grown to more than 300 professionals working in their own communities to fight injustice.” IJM is founded upon the call to “justice articulated in the Bible (Isaiah 1:17): Seek justice, protect the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

Today, IJM, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., employs 335 people, and has 14 field offices around the world. Their primary work is for those who are victims of sex trafficking, usually young women and children. IJM, like modern day abolitionists, will move into a country and use their expertise in the law and governmental procedure, to free these slaves of the illegal sex industry. Also, they will seek to help rebuild their lives by putting in place safe-guards and new opportunities at real life for these victims (jobs, education, health care, etc.). As well, they seek to bring down the systems that created the problems in the first place. No small task and the victories come slowly, but nonetheless, the wins do come.

In their own words …. “IJM seeks to restore to victims of oppression the things that God intends for them: their lives, their liberty, their dignity, the fruits of their labor. By defending and protecting individual human rights, IJM seeks to engender hope and transformation for those it serves and restore a witness of courage in places of oppressive violence.”

The IJM website is loaded with information about their ministry, as was as up to date information about abuses and abolitionist efforts around the world. They are an excellent place to go for research, educational information, and resources about the modern day slavery and what is being done to stop it.

I encourage you to look through their web site familiarize yourself with their work and these issues. There are several ways you can support their efforts; it may be well worth considering how you could. Any investment you make with them has both an earthly and eternal dividend.

3 John 8
Bill H.

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