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#UnsafeInLockdown

Help us protect the most vulnerable

Violence is increasing during lockdown

The COVID-19 is inadvertently creating the conditions for disturbing increases of violence and abuse in many of the areas where we work. While International Justice Mission has been working with partners to supply basic needs, like continued aftercare, food, and housing, we are also actively investigating cases of increased violence and human trafficking.

But there is hope. We will not stop fighting until all are free.

Will you stand with our frontline teams and resource them to identify, locate and rescue vulnerable children?

What can you do to help us protect those #UnsafeinLockdown?

See how we are continuing to serve

From providing PPE and providing emergency food to survivors, to supporting police in live rescue operations, IJM teams are doing all they can to safely protect survivors and stop violent abuse.

IJM Kenya

At the end of March, the country imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Enforcement of the order has been harsh with multiple deaths reported and we've seen a spike in cases of police brutality and abuse of power. IJM is working with government partners, who are working remotely and in shifts, to ensure that the new cases are investigated, and suspects taken to court.

IJM Uganda

Since 2018, IJM Gulu has been responding to cases of domestic violence, and during the government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown these cases have been increasing. The Uganda press reported that homicides stemming from domestic violence have increased from an average of 1-2 per week to around 5. On the first day of lockdown alone, there were 5 murders resulting from domestic violence.


For the past three years, the Uganda Child Helpline received an average of 248 calls per month. In March 2020, when lockdown began, they received 881 calls. On 10th April, they received over 700 calls in one day. 17 involved serious physical/sexual abuse that were difficult to follow up because of the lockdown.

IJM Ghana

The team is providing masks to hospitals and food to five shelters that we partner with to care for children rescued from forced labor, in order to ensure that they will have sufficient food while on lockdown.

IJM Guatemala

At the beginning of the outbreak in March, the Guatemalan Public Justice System saw a dramatic decrease nationwide in reported cases of violence against women and children. It was suspected that lockdown measures, alongside public transportation closures, meant that many victims weren’t able to make it to the police station to file reports. Since then, special guidelines have been issued for how to receive and process complaints, and there's been a 35% increase in complaints related to these crimes. Our team is supporting these efforts to reduce barriers to reporting with a hotline where complaints can be phoned in and a patrol unit will either be immediately dispatched or follow up within 72 hours.

IJM Dominican Republic

The country is under a very strict lockdown during COVID-19 and the local government has rescheduled most hearings until the lockdown is finished, however they are allowing critical hearings to resume virtually. Our hardworking team have submitted some IJM cases for consideration to resume trial, and are getting ready to defend boys and girls who are survivors of sex trafficking upon the government’s response.

IJM Delhi

Despite the lockdown, the team has still been able to support rescue operations. Five boys were rescued from slavery at a paper-making factory in Telangana state. See the story.

IJM Chennai

IJM staff and survivors with the Rescued Bonded Labour Association have been reaching out to their communities providing hand washing trainings, teaching them about the virus, and working with the government to provide needed food support. In Madurai, migrant workers were left stranded due to the lockdown, unable to travel back to their native states. The police noticed their vulnerable state and asked IJM to help provide groceries and disinfectant while they provided temporary shelters.

IJM Mumbai

Six courts in different parts of Mumbai have been operational during the lockdown and called on IJM to help provide face masks and hand sanitizer to continue operating. The team was honored to assist the courts in this way as they seek to continue ensuring justice during these times.

Cybersex Trafficking

Cybersex trafficking - or online sexual exploitation of children – sees real children sexually abused in real time for predators to watch online. Philippines is a global hotspot, but demand is fuelled by Western sex offenders - including from the UK. In the Philippines parents and close family friends are often the facilitators of the abuse which means that many children are in lockdown with their abusers.

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Joy became a victim of cybersex trafficking aged 10.

We've rescued children as young as 6 months old from cybersex trafficking. Help us protect children like Joy from this crime.

Violence Against Women and Children

Across the world, violence against women and children is harming and killing thousands every week – and this is only increasing during lockdown, as people are trapped at home with their abuser.

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Thanks to IJM's legal support, Sarah bravely testified in court against her abuser, and he was sentenced.

Police Abuse of Power

Hundreds of millions of people in the world's poorest countries are abused by corrupt police who extort bribes and brutalise innocent citizens, or are held in abusive pre-trial detention. In many places around the world, rather than teach their children to run to the police if they are in trouble, parents must teach them to run from the police to stay safe from harm.

As measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kenya, we have seen a spike in police abuse while enforcing the night curfew. The Kenyan government’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority [IPOA] has reported that they have documented at least 35 cases of police brutality in connection to the curfew enforcement, including 12 which resulted in death.

Wilfred Olal, who coordinates the Justice Centers that IJM supports, shared with the Washington Post that he believes there has been at least one death a night in the communities that the Justice Centers monitor.

IJM Kenya works to combat police abuse of power in Kenya.

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Help us Protect the Most Vulnerable

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When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery in our lifetime. From December 1-8th 2020, to have your gift MATCHED visit IJM's Big Give appeal: Bit.ly/IJMBigGive2020

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