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International Justice Missions, (IJM) Kolkata, combats sex trafficking. They rescue victims; partner with police agencies to ensure that survivors are treated with dignity and respect; bring criminals to justice; and restore survivors – all in partnership with various other agencies. 

IJM is one of our international missions partners and today we join them in praise and continued prayer for the items identified in this report covering the last few months.  

Stakeholder Symposium: In February, IJM Kolkata conducted a symposium on Bridging Gaps to Combat Human Trafficking.  IJM had identified issues in coordination among stakeholders that result in case acquittals and impede proper rehabilitation of survivors.  The key objectives of the symposium were to discuss the gaps that hinder the fight against sex trafficking, and to identify practical solutions to help bridge such gaps.  The symposium was conducted following all COVID-19 precautions, bringing together leaders from police, social services, prosecution, academia, and NGOs from across the state.

Rescue Operation: In March, IJM Kolkata assisted police with an operation to rescue one minor girl and arrest six suspects.  The police initiated this case and requested IJM’s assistance for an operation in a large, outdoor park area where traffickers would lure young girls to be groomed in the sex trade.  A significant aspect of this operation was the independent, proactive approach taken by the police in preparing for the operation, adopting practices learned from IJM trainings and capacity-building efforts.  The rescued minor has been placed in a shelter home.

Prayer for Recovery from COVID-19 in South Asia: Please pray for recovery from the devastating surge in COVID-19 in April and May.  The sharp spike in cases across the country quickly overwhelmed the healthcare system, with millions across the country struggling to find hospital beds, oxygen, and medication.  IJM staff and their families across the country were affected, including the loss of family members for some.  Please pray that the spread of the virus will stop and for the recovery of those who have fallen ill.  Pray also for people and communities who are vulnerable to trafficking and violence, that the lasting impact of the pandemic does not result in greater risk to them.