International Justice Mission (IJM)
Last year, ASC adopted International Justice Mission (IJM) as a global ministry partner. Violence is an everyday threat to the poor. It’s as much a part of daily life hunger, disease or homelessness. IJM believes everyone deserves to be safe. Their global team has spent nearly 20 years on the front lines fighting some of the worst forms of violence, and they’re proving our model works.
Justice System Transformation
IJM helps victims of violence secure justice, and they partner with key authorities in the justice system in four major ways to fix what is broken:
Rescue – Working with local police to rescue victims from ongoing violence and bring them to safety.
Restore – Working with social workers to restore survivors to their community through counselling, education and skills training.
Restrain – Working with local police to restrain criminals, traffickers and slave owners from hurting others.
Repair – Working to address gaps in the systems that will protect the poor from violence long-term.
Here is information from www.ijm.org to help you get to know more about IJM and their work around the world:
Violence is rampant all over the world – the kind that doesn’t get reported on: slavery, in the form of forced bonded labor and sex trafficking, sexual violence, property grabbing, police abuse of power, and citizenship rights abuse. For poor people living in the developing world, these types of violent acts are a daily reality. They have no protection, there is no safe place for them, whether it is at work or at home.
Forced Labor Slavery is a violent crime. Physical and sexual assault is rampant. IJM has documented forced labor slaves who have been beaten, gang raped, locked in tiny rooms, starved and even killed. Victims who try and escape commonly report being tracked down, beaten and returned to the facility. One of the most common techniques to entrap laborers is through false debts. An owner lures a poor person into slavery by offering a small advance payment for their labor. The owner then ensures it is impossible for the slave to ever repay by inflating the debt owed with exorbitant interest charges, not paying the victim the promised wages and prohibiting him or her from working anywhere else. These false debts can be passed from one generation to the next; IJM has identified entire families (from grandparents to parents to children) who have been forced to work for years after accepting advance payments as low as $20.
IJM pursues justice on behalf of forced labor slaves in these countries: India, Ghana, Thailand and Cambodia
• There are an estimated 45.8 million people held in slavery today.
• Children represent an estimated 26% of all forced labor victims.
• India has the largest estimated number of people in slavery, between 10.7 and 12.7 million.
Sex Trafficking is a form of modern slavery in which someone coerces or deceives another person into commercial sex exploitation for profit. Any child sold for sex is considered a victim of sex trafficking by nature of their age. Simply, it is sexual violence as a business. The nightmare of forced prostitution thrives when law enforcement cannot or does not protect vulnerable children and women.
IJM pursues justice on behalf of sex trafficking victims and survivors in these countries: India, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines (cybersex trafficking of minors)
• 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade.
• Human trafficking generates about $150 billion a year – two-thirds from commercial sexual exploitation.
• In IJM cases, sex trafficking survivors have described being beaten, forcibly injected with narcotics and forced to watch their own children be physically abused.
Sexual Violence is a truly global epidemic that leaves millions around the world terrified in their homes, schools and neighborhoods. Sexual violence can include rape, molestation and other forms of sexual abuse. Although anyone can be a victim of sexual violence, this form of violence most frequently impacts women and girls—and impoverished women and girls are particularly vulnerable.
IJM pursues justice on behalf of victims of sexual assault in these countries: Thailand, and Guatemala and Bolivia (specifically child sex abuse)
• An estimated 1 in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
• In many developing communities, basic daily activities—taking public transportation, using a community latrine, collecting water—can put girls and women at particular risk of sexual assault.
• For many poor girls, school is the most common place where sexual violence occurs—and sexual violence, or feared sexual violence is a common reason that girls leave school.
Property Grabbing is what often happens when vulnerable widows and orphans are chased from their homes, leaving them destitute. For poor families, a house and a small patch of land are often their only source of shelter, food and desperately needed income. But for many people in poverty—particularly widowed women and orphaned children—even this fragile foundation is not safe. Powerful relatives or neighbors often steal their meager property with violence or lies, and fear no consequences.
IJM pursues justice on behalf of victims of property grabbing in these countries: Uganda and Kenya
• Widows are particularly vulnerable to property grabbing. There are more than 115 million widows living in extreme poverty around the world—with half a billion children depending on these widows for survival.
• By 2020, 1.5 billion of the world’s urban poor will live in informal settlements and slums without any secure right to their property.
• An estimated 90% of rural sub-Saharan Africans have no proof of ownership for land where they live and work—leaving them even more vulnerable to violent land grabbing.
Police Abuse of Power is a devastating and overwhelming global issue today. Hundreds of millions of the poorest people in the developing world are abused by corrupt police who extort bribes and brutalize innocent citizens, or are held in abusive pre-trial detention. In many places in the developing 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.
IJM pursues justice on behalf of victims of police abuse of power in these countries: Kenya
• In any given year, there are about 10 million people held in pre-trial detention in the world’s prisons and jails.
• In 2012, the IJM team and its partners estimated that 15-30% of prisoners awaiting trial in Nairobi’s Industrial Remand Prison alone may be victims of police abuse.
• A recent study by the Kenyan Independent Policing Oversight Authority found that in nearly 2 out of every 3 felony cases examined that went to full trial, police never gathered enough evidence to charge (let alone convict) the accused person with a crime.
Citizenship Rights Abuse is a worldwide issue, where an estimated 12 million people are stateless—people who hold no citizenship of any kind. No citizenship means no country claims you. No justice system protects you. There are no guarantees your children will get to go to school or you will be able to find a job that pays a fair wage. These minority families are denied legal rights, leaving them open to trafficking and abuse.
IJM pursues justice on behalf of people whose citizenship rights have been abused in these countries: Thailand
• There are about 12 million stateless people worldwide – of whom an estimated 20% live in Thailand.
• About a dozen hill tribes (ethnic minority groups) live in Thailand’s northern and western highlands alone—an estimated 600,000 to 1 million people.
• Lack of citizenship is the major risk factor for hill tribe women and girls in Thailand for being trafficked or otherwise exploited.
Freedom Sunday with IJM
Sunday, September 24
As a part of the ASC family, you are invited to join us on Sunday, September 24th for Freedom Sunday! We are setting aside this one to day to focus on the call on us as members of the Body of Christ to stand with those who are oppressed, and lend our platforms to speak out against injustice so that one day, slavery in all its forms will be abolished around the world.
Please join Shireen David, Director of Mission and Outreach in the Great Hall at 10am on Freedom Sunday for a special presentation by IJM so that you too can be part of the nationwide movement of Churches who pledge to do what God has told us in Micah 6:8, Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk humbly with Him.