IJM’s mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.
Our vision is to rescue millions, protect half a billion and make justice unstoppable.
What happens when a small team of lawyers decides enough is enough? Compelled by the urgent needs he saw during his time as a human rights attorney, Gary Haugen and a small team of lawyers created International Justice Mission.
1990 - Rwandan Genocide
It all started with the senseless tragedy of the Rwandan genocide. Working as a lawyer at the Department of Justice and as the United Nations’ Investigator in Charge, Gary Haugen was struck by the lack of protection against violence that communities in poverty had around the world.
1991 - Discovering the Need
Gary was on a mission to change that. Alongside a group of lawyers, human rights professionals and public officials, they launched an extensive study of the injustices witnessed by overseas missionaries and relief and development workers. The results showed the tremendous need for trained public justice professionals to confront the abuse and bring rescue to victims of violence.
1997 - IJM Established
Seeing the magnitude of this need, Gary established IJM in 1997. IJM has now grown to more than 1,200 employees*—95% of whom are nationals of the countries where they work—in 29 program offices in 17 countries who share in the mission of protecting people in poverty from violence.
2005 - Combatting Sex Trafficking in Cebu
When the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sent IJM a $5M grant to combat sex trafficking in Cebu, the Philippines, we had no idea what we were about to accomplish. After 4 years working alongside local law enforcement, we saw a shocking 72% decrease in the availability of children for commercial sexual exploitation.
Today - More than 20 years later
Our global team has been on the frontlines fighting some of the worst forms of violence. And we’re not stopping until we partner with local justice systems everywhere to build communities where everyone can expect to be safe—and stay safe.