International Justice Mission Celebrates 10 Years of Combating Sexual Violence in Guatemala

This week International Justice Mission celebrates a decade combating sexual violence in Guatemala.

To kick off the celebration, IJM hosted a special day for boys and girls who we are currently representing in court, and children who have received therapy and care from IJM over the years. The day, named the “Super Day of Joy,” included a comedy show, a short movie, and games.

American Faces Charges in Thailand for Exploiting Street Children

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND — An American man is behind bars and facing charges for exploiting and abusing young teenage boys living on the city’s streets. In Thailand, he faces trafficking and sexual assault charges, and he may face additional charges abroad.

The 56-year-old American man was arrested on Wednesday, July 8, after IJM and local police have been investigating the case for more than six months.

Australian Arrested in Philippines for Abusing School Children

CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES — Michael Refalo, a 61-year-old Australian national, is now behind bars, arrested on two charges of human trafficking by Philippine authorities. The May 13 arrest follows an extensive investigation which uncovered the abuse and exploitation of 14 girls, including 10 suspected minors, over the last three to four years.

Refalo had been living in a small island town near Cebu, Philippines, for the past six years. He was regarded by the community as wealthy and influential.

Massive Operation in the Philippines Shows a Country Serious about Ending Human Trafficking

PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES—Eleven suspects were arrested at a high-end entertainment bar where women and girls were being trafficked and exploited for sex in the heart of Angeles City. The highly complex operation involved staff from all three IJM offices in the Philippines and required close coordination between national government agencies and the local anti-trafficking unit.

Carrying out an operation on this bar was a challenge—not only because of its size, but also because the bar management used deceptive tactics to hide their criminal activity.