Southeast Asia

IJM Training Exercise Leads to Rescue of Underage Girls

PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES — Four girls are now safe from being exploited in the local commercial sex trade, rescued by police only hours after an IJM training session. During the workshop on May 4, officers from the Philippine National Police discussed three rescue operations from earlier this year in which 26 victims were rescued from sex trafficking.

Later that evening, they would work together to rescue more girls still waiting for freedom.

How a Training Turned into a Rescue

Life Sentencing for American Expat Sends Strong Message to Sex Offenders Overseas

WASHINGTON, DC — An American expat will spend the rest of his life behind bars for child sexual abuse crimes committed in the Philippines. A Los Angeles federal court handed down the life imprisonment sentence on Monday, May 18, following a lengthy, eight-year battle in the courts to prosecute Stanley Reczko under the PROTECT Act. The PROTECT Act criminalizes sexual abuse of children by a U.S. citizen in a foreign country.

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.

IJM Pampanga Helps Rescue Young Women from Bar Under Sex Trafficking Investigation

PAMPANGA, THE PHIILIPPINES – A handwritten sign is still taped to the bar door: Gentlemen it’s time to close, it’s hotel and motel time. The message may be the last one the bar owners are able to post.

On Friday night, IJM helped police rescue 11 young women from this bar in Angeles City. This was our first rescue operation of the year in Pampanga.

The bar caters to foreigners and ex-pats who live in the area, and it is notorious for offering girls for sex. “This was the first of its kind for me,” said one IJM lawyer after the rescue operation.