IJM’s mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.
Our vision is to rescue millions, protect half a billion and make justice unstoppable.
IJM began operations in response to a massive global need. Working as a lawyer at the Department of Justice and as the United Nations’ Investigator in Charge after the Rwandan genocide, IJM’s Founder and CEO Gary Haugen was struck by the senseless tragedy and lack of resources to combat violence for those living in poverty around the world.
Historically, humanitarian organisations have always been faithful and courageous in bringing healthcare, education, food and other vital services to people in poverty. But little had been done to make sure these people could effectively access such resources. Violent people who oppress and harm those living in vulnerable communities often obstruct them from the very resources humanitarian organisations work so hard to bring.
Studies from the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, academic research and NGOs now confirm that everyday violence is the most critical barrier to economic equality – because it turns out if you’re not safe nothing else matters. As a result of this tremendous need, Gary established IJM in 1997.
In 1998, IJM established our first field office in Mumbai, India. Our first rescue operation took place and successfully freed children from slavery. In 2001, we saw our first conviction against a perpetrator in the Philippines who had assaulted a young girl. It was one case at a time, one survivor at a time to rescue and restore, as we try to ensure law enforcement with government and programme partners.
With the momentum gained working in trenches, IJM launched an audacious 10-year vision: To rescue millions, protect half a billion, and make justice for the poor unstoppable.
Over time, IJM started building small teams in the developing world to confront the problem of everyday violence against people in poverty in local communities. IJM’s local staff took on tens of thousands of individual cases of violence in the poorest communities.
In 2017, we saw the conclusion of the 10-year vision, and the results were astounding. IJM and our trained partners successfully relieved victims from violence and restored survivors to strength and safety. 150 million people were living in protection as a result of IJM’s work.
IJM is a global anti-slavery organisation with an audacious 2030 vision: To rescue millions, protect half a billion, and make justice for the poor unstoppable.
We continue to build on our proven theory of change: Strengthening justice systems protects people from violence. People in poverty face the threat of everyday violence. When justice systems are strengthened, laws are enforced and criminals are deterred, entire communities can live under protection.
Today, by the grace of supporters globally around the world, IJM has expanded to 24 field offices in 14 countries, with 1,200 employees determined to work until every person in poverty is protected from violence.
About IJM Hong Kong
IJM Hong Kong is part of IJM’s global justice movement working towards our 2030 vision of protecting 500 million people in poverty from violence. Established in 2021, IJM Hong Kong seeks to raise awareness of our mission and establish partnerships with philanthropists, corporations, faith community, NGOs and leaders across all dimensions of society to end violence against people in poverty.