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“While there are millions of girls and women victimized every day, our work will always be about the one,” she said in a public address. Before the Bush era, the law created a State Department office to rank–and potentially sanction–countries on the basis of their countertrafficking efforts in its annual “Trafficking in Persons” report.
When the law was reauthorized under Bush, however, it included a clause to suspend funding to organizations that “promote, support, or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution.” Those applying for funds for HIV education or outreach were subject to the same clause.
The funding decision outraged HIV-education NGOs and sex workers’ unions, a number of which were cut out of HIV-outreach and countertrafficking funding or refused it in protest.Human rights advocates, meanwhile, raised concerns that IJM’s criminal justice approach would cause “collateral damage”–putting women and girls on a collision course with police brutality, detention and deportation, and disrupting HIV services while failing to address the economic inequities that would replace one rescued girl with another victim. IJM began receiving federal funding in 2002, and by the end of 2010 the organization will have received more than million from the government, including a 0,000 grant to open an office–established just last January–to work against trafficking for forced prostitution in Samar, the Philippines.IJM’s ardent sense of mission–its moral clarity about justice work, dedication to the individual and passionate desire to find relief for victims–brought a revitalized engagement to believers and those concerned about trafficking.But those qualities often led to a quagmire in IJM’s early years.Although the organization has refined its techniques, its operations have ambiguous, and sometimes troubling, results on the ground.