International Justice Mission is a human rights organisation that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems.
IJM staff work in their communities in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection for victims of injustice through implementation of national laws through local court systems.
IJM is headquartered in Washington, D.C., overseeing and directing field operations. There are currently four affiliate offices located in the UK, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. IJM UK began operations in 2006 under the leadership of Terry Tennens, with a number of goals:
- to raise awareness of injustices in the world and how IJM responds;
- to gather support, both of finances and prospective employees;
- to form partnerships that strengthen and expand IJM’s global operations; and
- to engage Westminster and Brussels with the aims of promoting functioning public justice systems and mobilising intervention on behalf of the oppressed.
IJM investigators, lawyers and social workers intervene in individual cases of abuse in partnership with local authorities to ensure proper support for the victim and appropriate action against the abuser. Such collaboration is essential to obtain convictions against individual perpetrators and to strengthen local justice systems.
Through individual casework, IJM confronts aggressive human violence: violence that strips widows and orphans of their property and livelihoods, violence that steals dignity and health from children trafficked into forced prostitution, violence that denies freedom and security to families trapped in slavery.
Violence against the poor is not driven by the overwhelming power of the perpetrators – it is driven by the vulnerability of the victims. This violence can be stopped when the power of the law is brought to bear on behalf of those who need it, and when people of good will contribute their financial and professional resources to insisting that it stop.
IJM’s casework model combats victimisation and violence on the level of the individual, and supports functioning public justice systems where the poor urgently need an advocate.
In the tradition of abolitionist William Wilberforce and transformational leaders like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., IJM’s work is founded on the Biblical call to justice articulated in Isaiah 1:17: Seek justice, protect the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
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 labour. 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. IJM helps victims of oppression regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or gender.
IJM has seen significant progress in its fight against oppression and injustice in the past 10 years, and remains committed to expanding its work in the next decade.
IJM continues to build networks with aftercare and other social service and government providers to ensure long-term care of clients. IJM will continue to secure prosecutions of perpetrators and contribute to positive structural change through on-the-ground involvement with the casework, courts and people of local justice systems around the world.