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Post written by Kirsta C. Gellner

International Justice Mission (“IJM”) is a worldwide organization that fights human trafficking. Human trafficking targets all kinds of people and looks like many different things.

Men, women, and children are all victims of sexual abuse, slave labor, and debt bondage. IJM’s mission is to help the abused and stop the perpetrators from taking another victim.

Additionally, IJM aids in the prevention of human trafficking. IJM helps local law enforcement through training the local police how to better combat human trafficking. IJM then measures how effective the programs are and adjusts as needed.

The Prosecution of Human Traffickers in Romania

The project I am currently working on is evaluating the national and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations’ involvement in prosecuting human trafficking in Romania. We are gathering information such as the organizational structure of the local police offices and the national government. This includes discovering who is in charge of prosecuting the traffickers. Furthermore, we are evaluating how effective the local and national governments are at prosecuting human traffickers.

After I graduate, I would consider it a great honor to help people that have been taken advantage, so this project has been very interesting to me. It has opened my eyes and helped me realize that the tragedies we read and hear about involve real people. These stories are not just stories but are men, women, and children whose lives have been turned upside down and oftentimes destroyed. The abuse that these victims endure is horrendous, and they deserve to be treated like human beings and not as a means to make money.

The Weight of Abuse

This research experience has also challenged me in various ways. I am only learning about the stories through a screen, and yet my heart breaks for the victims. I have found myself questioning whether I will truly be able to carry the burdens of these individuals. I have wondered how I will be able to go about my day knowing the abuse that so many people face on a daily basis.

This is a challenge I will face for the rest of my life, but it can also be a blessing. Walking with people during the darkest parts of their lives will require me to lean on God and trust that He will supply supernatural strength and peace for me. This is also a great opportunity to be a witness for Christ. I am sure many victims have never heard about Jesus or that He is the solution to the pain they have endured.

Overall, I have loved my work for the Center for Global Justice, and I am thankful for the self-reflection and learning opportunities that have come with the experience.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.