Saturday, October 8, 2011

Change: IJM

IJM (International Justice Mission) is a cause that has recently broken my heart.Today, there are one million children that are sitting in detention centers waiting to go to trial, most for minor offences. Nearly two million children are being exploited in the commercial sex industry. Twenty-seven million people are trapped in modern day slavery. Over 50 percent of these slaves are children. And yet- here I am. Sitting in my dorm room. Comfortable. And yet--there is something more. There are women and children living outside these walls that are being forced to do horrible things. While I'd like to imagine it only is happening in third-world countries- it's happening here in the US, too. It's just not as accepted here. When people get caught, they go to jail.

But in other places around the world, the governments are far more corrupt than Washington. Even when cases are filed and the law enforcement try and send someone to jail- there aren't enough prosecutors to cover the cases. According to one source, it would take 350 years for Mumbai, India to catch up on the court backlog in their books. We need to work on helping these governments fix the corruption problem and help strengthen legal protections for the poorer people of the world. IJM investigators, lawyers and social workers intervene in individual cases of abuse in partnership with state and local authorities to ensure proper support for the victim and appropriate action against the perpetrator.  IJM says, "We can no longer stand by as billions in this world are daily ravaged by lawlessness. Without functioning public justice systems we will never make human rights meaningful and international development sustainable."

IJM's mission is to follow the tradition of leaders like William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr.They stand against violent oppression in response to the Bible's call to justice and to seek to find justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Their website says that:
IJM seeks to restore to victims of oppression the things that God intends for them: their lives, their liberty, their dignity, the fruits of their labor. By defending and protecting individual human rights, IJM seeks to engender hope and transformation for those it serves and restore a witness of courage in places of oppressive violence. IJM helps victims of oppression regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or gender.

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