MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – Last week, the Philippine government ordered a major karaoke bar to permanently close its doors. A month earlier, IJM helped rescue 17 young women who had been trafficked there and sold for sex – the youngest was only 14 years old.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – 14-year-old Raina* was hiding in the bathroom, begging the school staff to let her stay. Her mother and step-father were there to pick her up, but she didn't want to go.
She said she was afraid to go home because she didn't want to be sold to men for sex – like her older sister.
KOLKATA, INDIA – In a small, crowded courtroom on a rainy afternoon in Kolkata, a five-year battle for justice ended with a resounding victory. Two brothel managers and the man who trafficked 15-year-old Renuka* from Bangladesh to Kolkata were convicted and sentenced to prison.
"On the darkest nights, this day will be a beacon of hope," says IJM Kolkata Field Office Director Biju Mathew, "In this work fighting sex trafficking, there are huge challenges. We see violence and despair. But every day, we can decide to persevere because we know that justice is possible."
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – Two Cambodian traffickers have been convicted and sentenced to nearly a decade in prison – a strong sentence according to the IJM staff who worked on the case. "The verdicts that came from this trial were extremely positive and send out a strong message," explains IJM Cambodia Case Monitor Vinira Hok.