ijmlogoblk.jpgI want to take some time in this post to talk about the organization IJM (International Justice Mission). I have been impacted by this organization in a number of way’s. The 1st encounter was in reading Gary Haugen’s book Good News About Injustice. The second was last year in Cambodia when we met with some of the staff of IJM and heard what they are doing in Cambodia.

I have a huge heart for the country of Cambodia. I have been there the last 3 years and am returning this summer with a team from Alberta, Canada. I was looking at their site today and saw this recent post about sex trafficking in Sihanoukville, Cambodia where we spend most of our time with teams. If you or anyone you work with are looking for information on justice issues, or have any interest in law or justice focused ministry IJM would be a great place to go. Here is the excerpt from the post that I read today.  To read it on the site you can go here.

Monday, 14 April 2008
Cambodian court sentences Russian national to 13 years imprisonment for sexual assault of 14-year-old girl

In a modern-day David vs. Goliath story, young girl’s testimony brings down powerful expat investor accused in 18 other cases of abuse

The significance of this verdict cannot be overestimated.
– Patrick Stayton
Director, IJM Cambodia
A Phnom Penh court has delivered a guilty verdict against Alexander Trofimov, a Russian investor with powerful sway in the Cambodian community where he had been living. Trofimov was charged with debauchery with a child under 15. Debauchery is the legal term that covers sexual abuse of children under Cambodian law.

Trofimov was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay $100,000 USD in damages to the victim, who has been living in an aftercare shelter since the abuse. The victim, 14 years old at the time of the abuse, was brought to Trofimov by a Cambodian pimp, who has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in her abuse. Additional charges of debauchery are pending against Trofimov in cases related to 18 other victims, making him the subject of Cambodia’s largest-ever pedophilia investigation. Trial dates arising from these charges have yet to be announced.

After the verdict was announced against her perpetrator, the victim told her IJM social worker, “One day, I want to be a lawyer.”

“The significance of this verdict cannot be overestimated,” said Patrick Stayton, Cambodia Field Office Director for International Justice Mission. “The court’s verdict in favor of the victim is not a deterrent to foreign investors, as the suspect’s lawyer announced. Rather, it is a deterrent to foreign men with power and money who believe that they can use their power and money to circumvent the law, and it is a notice that they will be treated the same as any other criminal.”

The victim escaped Trofimov’s Sihanoukville guest home after four separate incidences of abuse and made her way back to Phnom Penh, where she was referred to International Justice Mission through an NGO partner organization. Based on the victim’s testimony, IJM worked with another organization to identify several additional underage girls who had been abused by Trofimov. These victims gave statements to IJM staff and the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection police, which were used to secure search and arrest warrants for Trofimov. As a result of this investigation, Trofimov was arrested on October 17, 2007, at the home he had been renting from the deputy governor of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Trofimov was the chairman of an investment company which had been granted permission in 2006 to build a $300 million resort on Snake Island off Sihanoukville, an area in which the Cambodian government has been attempting to spur development.

Jesus, we pray for IJM that you would give them strength and wisdom in what they do to bring your kingdom to earth.

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2 comments so far on “justice friday

  1. Jason Elder says:

    Excellent Blog. I’ve been reading along and just wanted to say hi. I will be reading more of your posts in the future.

    – Jason.

  2. Johnny says:

    wow… justice! Hallelujah!

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