of a Rescue
Rescue operations come with great risks and variables that can change in an instant. But one thing remains constant: our Freedom Partners. Journey around the world with us through the four stages of an IJM rescue.
Disclaimer: What you’re about to read is carefully-sourced content from our security teams about our work that we can share without compromising the safety of our teams and survivors.
The path to freedom starts with you. From rescue to restoration, Freedom Partners fuel our work all around the globe. Here’s a birds-eye view of an anatomy of a rescue:
We don’t go into these dark places alone. Freedom Partners light the way to rescue.
In the Dominican Republic, our team works alongside local government investigators. They may visit brothels, bars, sandy beaches or even private homes to find and rescue children forced into sex trafficking—including sexual tourism across the country.
Once victims have been identified, our team collaborates with the anti-trafficking authorities at the regional and national levels in the Dominican police, the Public Ministry (Prosecutor’s Office) and the Dominican Child Welfare Agency to ensure rescue.
Our Freedom Partners don’t just ensure we can partner with the Dominican law enforcement to identify victims and track individual perpetrators. They also provide the resources we need to make long-lasting sustainable change—such as training police to effectively conduct undercover operations—so that rescues will continue regardless of our presence there.
The Rescue Plan
In the Philippines, IJM staff members are briefed on operations with as little as two day's notice, before the rescue takes place. The actual planning process, however, can take anywhere from a few days to several months.
Planning for a rescue operation can involve many different players. For our team in the Philippines, communication is key as they each provide their critical expertise to achieve their common goal: rescuing young boys and girls from online sexual exploitation.
Our Freedom Partners give us the means to bring experts together on the ground, making it possible to find other children being exploited and bring them to safety.
During a recent operation in India, IJM helped local law enforcement rescue 360 people from forced labor at a notoriously brutal brick kiln. This led to the release of nearly 7,000 other migrant workers who had been trapped during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Officials conducted detailed interviews with the laborers about their experiences and helped them move to a safe shelter. Once it was time for them to return home, authorities ensured that these families traveled safely on special trains with police escorts and food for the journey.
Thanks to our Freedom Partners, these families can now go on to live their lives in freedom—like they were meant to have.
“…with your kindness and blessings, we’ve reached home. Only because of your help, I have been able to come back home. I was stuck in so many problems. If not for you all, it would have been so difficult. I once again want to thank you from my heart. You all helped me a lot. Thank you.” —Man who was rescued sending his thanks
Many victims, like those rescued from forced labor slavery in India, are left to start over with just a change of clothes. Because of our Freedom Partners, however, we’re able to provide them with so much more than that.
Through our two-year aftercare program for bonded labor survivors in India, each survivor receives an individual plan that addresses their physical and trauma-care needs.
Thanks to our Freedom Partners, we're able to provide those rescued with a new beginning and a hope for a better life once they return home. Some even go on to use their newfound freedom to advocate on behalf of others.