MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – IJM helped rescue four girls who were being sold and sexually exploited as "escorts," catering mostly to foreigners. The men paid as little as $20 for one night with a girl.
IJM briefed the Philippine National Police on the case on September 3, and they planned the undercover operation for that same evening. The covert rescue team arranged for a meeting at a restaurant in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. As planned, the husband-and-wife duo showed up with four girls, 15 and 16 years old. Instead of enduring yet another night of abuse, these girls were rescued and the suspected traffickers were arrested.
The sex trafficking survivors settled into a shelter after the rescue operation, and they told IJM staff that they felt well cared for. IJM will continue to support the sex trafficking survivors and make sure they get the long-term aftercare they need. IJM's lawyer Ralph Catedral said, "These children are now safe in a shelter, eager and hopeful for what lies ahead." Ralph explained that the road toward restoration is just beginning, but he added, "I am glad we were with them when they took that first step of restoration on the night of the rescue. And I am humbled by the privilege of walking with them all the way through."