Southeast Asia

The Voice You Haven’t Heard: A Brave Survivor Rallies Students to End Trafficking in the Philippines

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – College students around the world are serious about ending modern-day slavery in their lifetime. In the Philippines, about 800 students gathered for the first-ever Justice Forum at Manila’s Polytechnic University to brainstorm new ways to stop trafficking in their country.

One of the most powerful speakers was a young woman named Rowena.* She addressed the crowd as peers—and from her unique perspective as a survivor of sex trafficking.

IJM Pampanga and Police Work Around the Clock to Rescue 17 Young Women

PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES – In just one week, IJM helped police rescue 17 girls and young women from four different bars in the Philippines. The team of IJM staff worked around the clock—nearly 100 hours—on the back-to-back operations.

Pampanga is a region in the Philippines, long known as a hotspot for sex tourism and as a hub for traffickers. Neon signs keep the streets bright, but inside many of these bars and entertainment clubs women and girls suffer violence and abuse.

A Training Exercise Leads to Real Rescue

IJM Celebrates National Citizen Day by Honoring Hundreds Granted New Rights in Thailand

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND -- Today in the United States, we celebrate Citizenship Day. It’s a day to remember the creation of the Constitution and to celebrate the blessings of liberty that all citizens are meant to enjoy.

A group of Thai citizens recently celebrated a similar day to reflect on their new freedoms—though they have lived in Thailand for generations, many have just recently been recognized as citizens. The event was not an official national holiday, but hundreds showed up to celebrate. 

2.5 Million People in Thailand are Stateless

Jolie’s Story Inspires Other Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Manila

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – After four years in trial, two traffickers have been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for trafficking, thanks in part to the testimony of Jolie,* who they trafficked when she was just 15 years old. Jolie and her mother are now advocates who share their story with sex trafficking survivors and their parents.