17 girls r​escued from 4 bars i​n the Philippines


Over the past week, we helped rescue 17 girls and young women from trafficking in four different bars in the Philippines.

In the first of two successful operations, we helped local police rescue young women from this karaoke bar in Pampanga. Customers sit at plastic tables and sing karaoke, or choose a girl and take her into one of the dimly lit VIP rooms in the back.

One of the young women rescued from this bar said she was 14 when she was first tricked into working there. That was nearly a decade ago.

A few days later our team split up to support police with a second complicated operation, this one targeting three bars on the same street at the same time. One of the 13 young women rescued that night shared how it felt to be paraded in front of customers, to feel like they were goods for sale. She told an IJM lawyer that she had lost all hope—until now.

I’m so grateful for our amazing team that worked around the clock—nearly 100 hours—to make sure these survivors are safe.

Indeed, God does hear the cry of the oppressed.

Sean Litton, Senior Vice President of Justice Operations