International Justice Mission: Going Undercover To Fight Human Sex Trafficking
The International Justice Mission is an organization created to help fight the battle against human trafficking and sex slavery. Their mission is four-fold:
1. To rescue victims of sex slavery and trafficking.
2. To get justice for the victims by arresting the perpetrator and ensuring that those who commit crimes are put through the legal system in whatever country they committed the offenses.
3. To prevent future abuse by driving home the message against slavery and trafficking in well-known problem areas.
4. To aid victims in the long and arduous recovery process after they are rescued from captivity.
When the organization receives information about a particular brothel or location where sex trafficking is occurring, lawyers at IJM work endlessly to figure out exactly what laws in that country or area are being broken, and what evidence is needed to make an air-tight case against the perpetrators. Based on their findings, former law enforcement agents who've joined IJM as investigators go undercover to collect as much of that evidence as possible against the brothel owners. If investigators are able to get this proof before a sting operation, there is a greater chance that those violating the trafficking laws will be punished for their crimes. That's because often, during a bust, there is not enough time to collect evidence, and many criminals fall through the cracks when the legal system cannot prove their involvement. But when IJM investigators get their proof, the pedophiles and trafficking pimps and madams don't stand a chance.
To gather the evidence they need, investigators use hidden cameras and top-secret tactics. They work their way into the brothels and talk to those who run the businesses. Often, it takes several visits to these underground sex shops to win the trust of the owners. But once investigators are in, they're able to put together a comprehensive file on the brothel.
After The Smoke Has Cleared
When a bust is successful, it drives home a message IJM is happy to deliver: there are people in the world who take the exploitation of children extremely seriously, and who won't stop until pedophiles and traffickers are brought to justice. According to IJM, brothel owners often grow nervous about their own operations after seeing a neighboring sex shop go down. And pedophiles are less likely to travel to an area where busts have been made in the past. IJM workers are certain that, slowly but surely, human sex slave traffickers are getting the message.
IJM's work doesn't stop after arrests are made and victims are freed. The long-term effects of human sex trafficking are devastating, and IJM strives to help victims even after they're rescued. IJM has programs in place to ensure these victims go to safe houses and learn skills they need to survive outside captivity. Because the sex trade is all many of these girls have known for years, they are taught new jobs and given freedom they've never had before -- and a reason to smile.
A heart-breaking image taken from undercover IJM footage. These two little girls are kept as slaves and forced to have sex with multiple men each day.
IJM's Director of Investigats, Bob Mosier, prepares his staff for an undercover mission.
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