• on May 20, 2021

Around the World with SEMC: IJM

Welcome to week FIVE of Around the World with SEMC! We’re going “around the world” to check in on what God is doing in the various places that he has connected us as a church body to.
This week we are “travelling” all the way to the Philippines to hear from the IJM Philippines team (c/o Ray Bicol) and Police Colonel Maria Sheila Portento.

For the past couple of years, SEMC has been involved in financially supporting the work of IJM in the Philippines specifically.

“International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. We partner with local authorities in 24 program offices in 14 countries to combat trafficking and slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power.

Cybersex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that was unimaginable before the digital age. Cybersex trafficking is the live sexual abuse of children streamed via the internet, set up by adults who receive online payments from predators and pedophiles located anywhere in the world.

Before the internet, customers had to travel to the Philippines. Traffickers recruited vulnerable teens and coerced them to work in bars or clubs. Now, pedophiles and predators can enter the homes of Filipino children through a simple internet connection. Victims tend to be young—some under 2 years old—and the traffickers tend to be trusted family members who earn quick cash by exploiting children in their care.

Since IJM started working in the Philippines in 2000, the government has made rapid strides to stop traffickers from exploiting children in the commercial sex trade—closing bars that sell minors for sex and bringing pimps to justice. Studies have shown the number of minors available for purchase on streets and in bars once notorious for sex trafficking has plummeted between 75% and 86% in the cities where IJM has worked.” (from their website:



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