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Center Intern Update: Pamela Dodge

Pam serves as a legal intern this summer with International Justice Mission in South Asia. IJM seeks to protect the poor against violence by partnering with nationals to rescue victims, prosecute perpetrators, restore victims, and ultimately to transform justice systems. Pam works with the legal team to combat sex trafficking by researching various legal issues—including the use of video conferencing for victim testimony—and writing research briefs for the IJM advocates.

It is the fourth week of my internship with International Justice Mission in South Asia.

The field office in which I work combats sex trafficking, especially the trafficking of minors, by seeking to rescue and restore victims, prosecute traffickers, and transform the justice system.
The most influential part of my experience has been my interaction with the local staff, especially the advocates on the IJM team. They are—in every sense of the word—heroes. They work tirelessly in the face of both disappointments and victories for which they are never thanked.

Most of the obstacles the team faces come from within the system. When the team had to call off a rescue because the police were unwilling to follow through, when a judge granted bail to a convicted trafficker who will undoubtedly abscond—these moments reveal why the work of IJM is so important. Because the system is failing to provide justice to these girls. The system needs transformation.

I have almost completed my first research project for our legal team—updating a brief on the use of video conferencing for victim testimony. Many young girls are trafficked from nearby countries, and it is essential for them to be able to testify even after they have been repatriated to their home countries. The implementation of the use of video conferencing would also benefit the victims who are willing to testify, but are not willing to face their traffickers in court. The use of video conferencing is a new development in case law, so our advocates are working to implement it strategically.

My day-to-day work involves research and writing, as well as other legal support tasks, and a lot of learning about the inner workings of IJM. I am humbled and honored to play a small role in the work of justice the IJM team is doing in this city.