is to rescue thousands, protect millions
and prove that justice for the poor is possible.
We are a global team
of lawyers, investigators, social workers, community activists and other professionals. We protect the poor from violence in nearly 20 communities throughout Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and 95% of us are at work in our own countries.
But we don’t work alone
Our work would be impossible without the partnership of local law enforcement and justice system officials, aftercare professionals, NGOs, churches, students, parents, friends and scholars standing together to protect the poor from violence.
We are inspired
by God’s call to love all people and to seek justice. We protect the poor from violence without regard to religion, race or any other factor, and we seek to partner with all people of goodwill.
Highlighted as one of 10 non-profits "making a difference", IJM's innovative work has been recognised by the U.S. State Department, the World Economic Forum and leaders around the globe, as well as featured by the BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, Channel 4, CNN, national public radio and many other outlets.
The IJM story
1994: A defining moment
IJM’s founder Gary Haugen was a human rights lawyer working for the U.S. Department of Justice when the United Nations asked him to lead its investigation of the horrific genocide that engulfed Rwanda.
As Haugen dug through mass graves and massacre sites, he remembers being struck by the terrible truth: the Rwandans who had perished in the violence “did not need someone to bring them a sermon, or food, or a doctor, or a teacher, or a microloan. They needed someone to restrain the hand with the machete, and nothing else would do.”
1997: A new kind of human rights organisation begins
Compelled by the urgent needs he saw and inspired by his faith, Haugen envisioned a new kind of human rights organisation: a group that would leverage the skills of criminal justice professionals to protect the poor from violent oppression.
Haugen left his job and launched International Justice Mission. He and a small team took on cases of desperate violence where impoverished victims could not depend on their justice systems to defend them.
They met with obstacles and challenges. They faced disbelief that broken public justice systems could ever protect poor children, women and men. But slowly, the team saw their vision begin to take hold: rapists went to jail for assaulting impoverished children; families were freed from generations of slavery; young girls were rescued from the traffickers who sold them for sex.
By 2000, IJM established its first long-term field office, in Mumbai, where a team of local professionals began partnering with authorities to rescue trafficked girls and women.
2006: The justice movement spreads to the UK
Founded by Terry Tennens, IJM UK was established to fuel the global justice movement by drawing the world’s attention to everyday violence, influencing leaders to become champions for protecting the poor and rallying all people of good will to the fight.
Based in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, we apply IJM’s unique global experience to strengthen the UK justice system and encourage the UK – including the government, the Church and a new generation – to lead the way in addressing everyday violence, both globally and locally.
TODAY: Standing together to end slavery and violence
We’re now a global team of nearly 600 lawyers, social workers, investigators, community activists and other professionals.
IJM field offices protect the poor from violence in nearly 20 communities throughout the developing world, with partner offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK sharing in the global mission.
Through the support of a global movement of friends and partners, we have collaborated with local authorities to rescue thousands of victims of everyday violence and put hundreds of violent criminals behind bars.
Today, our work is helping to protect 21 million people globally from violence.
And, each day, we see powerful proof that justice for the poor is possible.