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Ground-breaking 78% reduction in child sex trafficking in Dominican Republic

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Ground-breaking 78% reduction in child sex trafficking in Dominican Republic

We’re delighted to share that, with your support, we’ve seen the overall prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation of children reduce from 10% in 2014 to 2.2% in 2022 – an incredible 78% reduction!

Back in 2014, sex trafficking of children in the Dominican Republic was a rampant crime.

One in 10 people trapped in sexual exploitation were children.

IJM began helping local authorities to bring children to safety and support survivors to heal.

We also helped ensure perpetrators were held accountable for their crimes and strengthened local governments to investigate and prosecute those cases.

In 2019, IJM shifted its focus to strengthening the local justice system and its capacity to deliver justice independently, to enable lasting change.

Not only has this led to a 78% reduction in the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation of children, we've also seen a seven times increase in arrests.

Thank you for your support which has helped bring about this remarkable transformation.

Survivors of sexual exploitation of children like Francesca* have been working alongside IJM to stop this crime in the Dominican Republic.

Francesca was just 17 years old when she was trafficked into sexual exploitation.

For hours every night, men paid to sexually assault her. With no money and no way of contacting her family, Francesca was trapped in this unimaginable situation for months. But one day, she managed to get access to a phone. She bravely took the risk of calling a family member, who contacted the authorities. Thanks to the information Francesca provided, Dominican Police and IJM were able to locate her and bring her to safety.

“There was a moment when they told me they were going to take me to see my mum and dad. I finally felt safe again when I got to see them, and I finally felt comfort when they hugged me."

Despite pressure to drop the case against the trafficker, who was a prominent political figure in the community, Francesca, supported by IJM and the Public Ministry, didn’t give up until he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Today, with the support of IJM and partners, Francesca is a survivor leader using her voice to advocate for those who are still trapped in exploitation. In 2021, she even shared her story at an advocacy event that included the First Lady of the DR and other key government officials!

“My dream is to live in peace, tranquility and with no fear. I will not let anyone defeat me,” said Francesca.

You Can Help Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery and violence in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will help send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and have perpetrators held accountable.

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