CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – Last week, IJM helped local police rescue half a dozen young women trafficked for sex. Several of the women are young mothers, and a few are still in school while trying to provide for children. All are extremely poor. As they shared their stories with IJM staff, they explained how the pimps who trafficked them were taking advantage of very desperate needs.
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – Sua's* family and friends from her church crowded into the small courtroom. They were eager yet nervous for the judge to read the verdict. The protection of the law is not a guarantee for many living in poverty in Thailand.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – In July 2012, a manager of a local karaoke bar was convicted of trafficking, sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay a steep fine of 5 million pesos. The battle in court lasted more than three years.
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – IJM Manila staff sat quietly with police officers from the National Bureau of Investigations and other members of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT). Minutes slowly ticked by, turning into hours. At 10:30 p.m., an undercover operative made a phone call, and the calm before the storm ended as everyone sprang into action.
The rescue team loaded into vans and sped off towards the large entertainment bar where they believed young women had been trafficked and sold for sexual exploitation.