Learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
One of the institutions that I support financially is IJM.
The International Justice Mission.
This organization was started by one dude a little over 10 years ago.
Gary Haugen was a Harvard graduate that went to the University of Chicago for law school.
In 1994 while working with the Dept. of Justice, he served as the officer in charge of the UN's genocide investigation in Rwanda (Did you ever see the movie Hotel Rwanda? The real pictures of this are horrifying).
While in Rwanda Gary's eyes were opened to the atrocities that are going on all over the world. The things that we Americans turn a blind eye to (I truly don't want to know most of them).
I told you in a recent blog about how USA makes up only 4% of the worlds population. I guess my eyes are opening to the fact that it is a big world out there and what goes on out there effects me.
Are your eyes opening? If you are younger than me (39) don't wait. If you are older than me, (ha ha, you are old) stop turning your head to the world.
Mr. Haugen began to collect data and it started to pull on his heart.
There are presently 27 million present day slaves.
What did you say?
Yes, you read me right. 27 M-I-L-L-I-O-N slaves.
I will give you some facts then I will tell you some stories.
There are 2 million children that are sex slaves (and I am not talking about the polygamists).
Human trafficking is a $32 Billion business (that is billion with a "B").
Mr. Haugen was moved to create IJM. He is an attorney and his closest friend was a big wig in the military. Along with some other help, retired policemen and the like, they all started IJM.
He would find instances of slavery. Lets say in the Philippines.
There is a story of a woman that was at a train station. She started talking to this really nice man. Next thing she knew she was drugged and woke up in a brothel. They said to her, either you work for us or we will kill your family. So there she works prostituting herself for zero money to make sure nothing happens to her family.
The folks at IJM get word of this. They do some investigating. They case the joint. They use some pretty high-tech equipment to go in and talk to the woman. They can talk to the women because they go in as customers and hire the woman for the night. They bring them to a hotel room and interview them on camera. The whole experience is now on video tape.
So you think the cops get the video and just go and bust the culprits. NOT EXACTLY
They spent a month putting the video together and bringing it to the authorities. Then the cops got together and set up a time for a raid.
They raided the brothel. Only one problem, one of the cops tipped off the owners of the brothel and then there was no one there.
The problem goes way beyond the cops. The judges are crooked. The government is crooked.
During one story (by the way I get these stories from a book called Terror No More by Gary Hausen) the evil went so high that Gary had to lean on our government and have our Justice Dept. threaten their government with a trade squeeze just to get some pimps prosecuted.
So when all these problems have been solved and the people that are doing the crime are finally doing the time.
There is the mess they have left in their wake. You have victims.
So IJM's job does not end when the brothels are raided. They also have Victim Aftercare and deal with victims and rehabilitate them.
They have houses set up to board them until they feel safe enough to go home. While they are being housed by IJM there is some serious counseling going on.
Now I want to give you some hope.
IJM has served 1663 clients in 2007. And even better they have CONVICTED 900 traffickers since 2003.
I know that seems like a drop in the bucket but the word is spreading that evil will not win out.
IJM started in Gary's home office and is now a 10 million dollar organization. They have offices in 15 countries.
They have casework types that include, sexual violence, slavery, illegal detention, police brutality, illegal property seizure, and sex trafficking.
In the book there are stories of a man that owes $50 to someone. The guys says you owe me so you can work it off. The problem he pays the man $2 a day and charges him $2.50 a day for room and board. The man will work for 10 years trying to repay a $50 debt.
Or stories like children working in a brick factory for 14 hours a day in deplorable working conditioned to pay off their father's $10 debt.
The evil goes so deep (maybe that is why I turn a blind eye to it).
I wanted to introduce you to this awesome agency.
There website is http://ijm.org/. Have a look.
The book is Terror No More. It is a first account of IJMs first major conviction. From the first time they were made aware of a brothel and all the way through the conviction and victim rehabilitation.
Have a great weekend,
I will try to have something more uplifting on Monday.
But this is good. Social Justice is good.
Ps Carl from New Mexico. Thanks for the props. Email me anytime Jgammichia@aol.comh