MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – When Marisol* first made the long drive from Manila to the provincial town nearly 80 miles from her home, she thought she was on her way to a better life. The 17-year-old girl was going to be a domestic helper, a chance to make a living and gain independence from the poverty that defined her young life.
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA – Last week, four perpetrators were convicted for sex trafficking crimes. Two had been involved in transporting girls from one province to another, and two owned the karaoke bar where girls were then sold for sexual exploitation.
In July 2011, IJM helped local police to rescue nine girls and women who had been trafficked to a brothel fronting as a small karaoke bar. IJM Cambodia lawyer Saroeun Sek represented the trafficking survivors in court, and the convictions are an important step in the survivors' own journey of healing from the abuse.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – This week, two traffickers were sentenced to life in prison for selling girls and women for commercial sexual exploitation. Two of the 15 young women who were rescued nearly four years ago were present for the court's ruling.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – IJM assisted anti-trafficking police with back-to-back operations at two different karaoke bars where girls had been trafficked.
Five young women were rescued from the first karaoke bar. At HerSpace, the safe government shelter set up for trafficking survivors, each one signed statements that will be used as evidence in court against the suspected traffickers. IJM will represent the survivors as the case develops.