Your Voice Matters: Meet Marta Sears

by Marta Sears / Topic: Justice Campaigns December 12, 2011

When Marta Sears' young daughter came to her with a big dream of raising funds for the poor, she writes, “ I started panicking. I didn't want to squelch my daughter's compassionate heart and willingness to dream big, but I didn’t want to drain our savings account either.  And I couldn’t see a lemonade stand bringing in $2,000.  As I shared the dilemma with my husband, we remembered something that IJM president Gary Haugen said when he was telling the story of the feeding of the five thousand. He pointed out that, in the midst of an overwhelming need, Jesus didn’t ask the disciples or the little boy to do the miracle. He simply asked them to give him what they had, which in this case was the boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish.

Read More

News From Washington - Advocacy in India!

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: Justice Campaigns December 11, 2011

Earlier this month, the Government Relations team had the wonderful experience of traveling to Chennai, India, to work with the Government Relations team in our office there. It was an extraordinarily gratifying and wonderful experience for our whole team -- for most of the US-based team, this was their first opportunity to see IJM's work in the field directly! The Chennai team is doing some incredible work to help create structural transformation in the public justice system by working with local government leaders to address forced labor slavery.

Read More

Give the Gift of Transformation this Christmas!

by Erica Boonstra / Topic: Justice Campaigns December 7, 2011

This year has truly been an inspiring one for our team here at Justice Campaigns, and it’s because of people like you—who have dedicated so much time and effort to advocating for victims of oppression around the world.

As you know this year we’ve been working together to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). While the bill hasn’t yet passed in Congress, we’ve seen some incredible transformation already as a result of your work: Read More

News From Washington - November 2011

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: Justice Campaigns November 8, 2011

This week, the Government Relations team at IJM’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., is in India working with our colleagues from Chennai and Bangalore on strategies to influence local, state and national authorities.  We’ve been looking forward to this opportunity and can’t wait to stories with you soon. Although, at the moment, I’m thinking maybe our Indian staff should come here and train us on how to influence our government leaders! Read More

We're Growing!

by Erica Boonstra / Topic: Justice Campaigns November 1, 2011

We're growing!

We are thrilled to announce that the Justice Campaigns team here at IJM is growing! We are adding two new positions to our campaign team to help with the growing movement to end slavery in the United States and around the world:

A Field Organizer to help us organize strategic advocacy campaigns in several new states (maybe yours!) An Online Campaigns Manager to help give you more ways to engage in the fight to end slavery online Read More

Special Update: The Importance of Perpetrator Accountability

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: Justice Campaigns October 25, 2011

One of the most touching client stories I’ve heard since joining IJM involves a six-year-old girl who had been sexual assaulted in Manila.  It was my colleague Sean Litton’s first week on the job in a brand new IJM office in the Philippines when a social service provider brought the child and a case file folder to him and told Sean that the judge was hearing the case that very day.  Sean had little time to do more than scan the folder and speak briefly with the child, who would have to provide testimony in the case.  When he talked to the victim, his heart sank.  The child had a developmental disability and had difficulty concentrating. He entered the courtroom with the child and her social worker with little hope that she would be able to provide compelling testimony about the violence she had suffered. Read More

UPDATE: We need your help on the TVPRA!

by Eileen Campbell / Topic: Justice Campaigns October 19, 2011

Last Thursday, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 12-6!

We are excited that this critical legislation will now move forward for a full Senate vote, but there’s still more work to be done. Senators Coburn (OK), Cornyn (TX), Lee (UT), Sessions (AL), Graham (SC), and Kyl (AZ) each voted against passing the TVPRA out of committee. It’s critical that these members hear from anti-slavery advocates in their states before the bill is voted on by the full Senate.

How you can help:

If you live in Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Alabama, South Carolina, or Arizona, please call your Senator and politely express your disappointment that they did not support the TVPRA in committee and your hope that they will support the bill when it reaches the Senate floor. Read More

Your Voice Matters: Meet Alan and Beth Seelinger

by Alan Seelinger / Topic: Justice Campaigns October 11, 2011

On a chilly December day in 2009, my friend David and I crammed into a taxi and made our way through the DC streets to Capitol Hill. To say that I felt butterflies would be an understatement. We were minutes away from an appointment at Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson’s office, and I still had no idea what I was going to say.

Our aim was to ask the Senator to help introduce the Child Protection Compact Act, and I was frantically trying to come up with something persuasive to convey. Read More

Your Voice Matters: The In-district Meeting Campaign

by Erica Boonstra / Topic: Justice Campaigns October 9, 2011

For the past two months, advocates around the country have been lobbying for Congress to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011 (TVPRA) through our annual In-district Meeting Campaign. Since August, we've seen the introduction of the TVPRA in the House of Representatives, and 26 Members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors, joining the original two sponsors of the bill. In the Senate, 9 new cosponsors have signed on since the August in-district recess!

Your work to bring attention to this bill really makes a difference! We have been encouraged by the stories and pictures many of you have shared from your meetings, and we want to share the good work you are doing. Read More

News From Washington - October 2011

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: Justice Campaigns October 6, 2011

At last, the legislation we have been working on for almost a year, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, is getting traction in Congress!  I am happy to report that the House Foreign Affairs Committee reviewed the bill (HR.2830) day before yesterday and passed it unanimously out of the committee.  Our hats go off to Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), the principal sponsor of the TVPRA—and the author of the original TVPA, passed in 2000—who shepherded the bill through the process.  Read More