Every day, countless people are sold into slavery. IJM is a global organization with a plan to eliminate the slave trade everywhere. First, they rescue and restore slaves. They find the children and adults who are victims of this violence, support local police in rescue operations, and provide for the victims’ urgent needs. Since its founding in 1997, IJM has rescued more than 49,000 people from slavery and other forms of violence.
Second, IJM ensures criminals cannot continue to harm their victims. IJM works to make sure laws against slavery are enforced, making it legally and financially impossible for slave owners to stay in business. IJM has helped local authorities arrest more than 3,800 suspected slave owners.
FPCH is partnered specifically with IJM’s work in Accra, Ghana. Ghana’s Lake Volta is the world’s largest man-made lake. Thousands of children work in its massive fishing industry—and many of these children are held in slavery. An IJM assessment in 2013 indicated that more than half of the nearly 800 children observed were trafficked—the majority 10 years old or younger. Victims are forced to rise before dawn to go out on the lake, diving into the dark water to untangle fishing nets. The work is strenuous. Drowning is a constant threat. Masters maintain their control by inflicting violent beatings and withholding food.
IJM rescues children from slavery in the fishing industry by helping the Ghanaian police locate, rescue, and bring them to a safe place. IJM assists public prosecutors as they take traffickers to trial for slavery crimes under Ghanaian law. IJM restores survivors by helping them heal from the trauma in homes and shelters where they can thrive. IJM is also equipping Ghana’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit to investigate and respond to child trafficking, strengthening the coordination between law enforcement and social services that is essential to successfully prosecuting traffickers.
An end to slavery is not only possible. It is happening. Through prayerful and financial partnership, our church is joining in the work.