Today, millions of lives around the world are in the grip of injustice.
More children, women and men are held in slavery right now than over the course of the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade: Millions toil in bondage, their work and even their bodies the property of an owner.
Trafficking in humans generates profits in excess of 32 billion dollars a year for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage. Nearly 2 million children are exploited in the commercial sex industry. The AIDS pandemic continues to rage, and the oppression of trafficking victims in the global sex trade contributes to the disease's spread.
In many countries around the world, pedophiles find that they can abuse children with impunity. And though police should be protectors, in many nations, their presence is a source of insecurity for the poor. Suspects can be held interminably before trials, imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
The land rights of women are violated on a massive scale worldwide, but with particular ferocity in Africa, leaving widows and other women in vulnerable positions unable to care for themselves or their children. Around the world, women suffer the double trauma of rape - and seeing their perpetrators face no consequences.
Often lacking access to their own justice systems and unable to protect themselves or their families from those more powerful, it is overwhelmingly the poor who are the victims of these brutal forms of abuse.
Miriam (lower right) watches her great-granddaughter sing a song for IJM staff celebrating IJM's help in restoring her family's property after wealthy neighbors attempted to seize it. The legal battle for Miriam's property rights lasted over five years, and her victory made national headlines in Kenya.
- Each year, nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. (UNICEF)
- 27 million men, women and children are held as slaves. (Kevin Bales, Disposable People)
- 1 in 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. (U. N. Development Fund for Women)
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