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International Justice Mission Gets Notice and Results

Dateline NBC, Forbes, and others show the undercover work of ministry that fights sexual slavery.

International Justice Mission's covert ministry becomes very public
In 1999, Christianity Today covered the work of Gary Haugen and his International Justice Mission (IJM), which had then been doing case work against sexual slavery for a year. Still, what a year it had been: In 1998, the ministry had freed more than 700 people, largely through covertly infiltrating, investigating, and documenting abuses around the world.

Five years later, International Justice Mission has become a media focus, with Forbes specifically profiling the group and Dateline NBC cooperating with IJM on a major piece on Cambodia's child sex market.

But that's not all: Four weeks ago, NPR's Morning Edition gave much attention to IJM's work in a piece on the U.S. government's crackdown on American sex tourists, as does this week's New York Times Magazine cover story on sex trafficking (Times reporter Peter Landesman talked about his story yesterday on NPR's Fresh Air, and Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has also been reporting on Cambodia's sex slavery)

For a good look at the kind of work IJM does, check out the Dateline NBC report. The undercover, secret videotape work included in that report—of pimps, of victims, and of customer/rapists—along with a raid that includes the arrest of pimps and freeing of young girls, is the kind of thing that IJM is largely known for. Almost every time you hear "Dateline" in the report, mentally add, "working with IJM."

Part of Haugen's work is to go after American sex tourists, not just the pimps. And the Dateline report also includes a fine example of this: an IJM investigator caught American radiologist Jerrold Albom on video bragging about coming to Cambodia to have sex with girls as young as 14. Dateline reporters ...

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Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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