PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES - Two sex trafficking cases ended with convictions today in the Philippines. Both underscore a government serious about stopping this rampant crime.
Today, a British court found Simon Harris guilty of abusing young Kenyan boys, as well as possessing indecent images of children, when he was working as the director of a children's charity in their community.The trial against him represented an innovative use of technology and a unique collaboration between UK police and human rights agencies, including IJM Kenya.
Recent reports paint a dark picture of the violence facing millions of the world's poor every day. Human trafficking generates $150 billion in annual profits, and nearly 36 million people are held in modern-day slavery. But few of the criminals perpetuating this violence are ever held accountable for their crimes.
Pope Francis has a vision to eradicate modern day slavery and human trafficking by 2020, and along with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Chair and Founder of the Walk Free Foundation Andrew Forrest, he founded the
MUMBAI, INDIA - Every twenty-something woman has ideas on what it means to be beautiful. A small group of young women gathered in India's largest city take turns musing, each one wearing a different palate of bright colours.
In one of our biggest cases of the year, a retired colonel from Cambodia's army was convicted for raping three girls between 9 and 14 years old.
More than two years after Derek* felt the pain of a police officer's metal rod across his body, the high-ranking officer who allegedly beat him was finally arrested for his crimes and will stand trial later this year.
"There is a change occurring in these extremely hard cases of holding police accountable," says IJM Kenya Field Office Director Shawn Kohl. "We have hope that the result will be justice for the poor."
Brutally Beaten in His Own Neighbourhood
College students around the world are serious about ending modern-day slavery in their lifetime. In the Philippines, about 800 students gathered for the first-ever Justice Forum at Manila's Polytechnic University to brainstorm new ways to stop trafficking in their country.
One of the most powerful speakers was a young woman named Rowena.* She addressed the crowd as peers-and from her unique perspective as a survivor of sex trafficking.
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - For a young teen named Clarisa* and her family, the fact that two men are in prison facing sex trafficking charges brings a sense of safety that seemed unimaginable just a few weeks ago. And for the IJM team in the Dominican Republic-established late last year and fully operational only for a few months-these arrests are critical to seeking justice in one of IJM's first cases in the country.
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA - A three-and-a-half- year trial ended this month in Bolivia with justice for a little girl named Mona.* The trial lasted more than half the length of Mona's lifetime, and the verdict closes a very painful chapter for her family.
When Mona was just 3 years old, she was raped by her older half-brother.
Seeking Justice Despite The Odds