OUR PROJECTS

A Fight for Freedom

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Liana* was only 14 years old when she was sold for sex by her own mother. Her stepfather was a truck driver and helped her mother run the lucrative sex business. He hauled Liana to men around the country. Every day – often multiple times a day – Liana was raped by customers young and old at hotels, in her home, and in local orange groves. If she refused, her mother threatened to kill her, hitting her and even once grabbing a knife.

The Dominican Republic is a global tropical tourist destination known for its sandy beaches and natural beauty – but it is also a hotspot for traffickers and sex tourists.

Sex trafficking in the country is predominantly street-based. Customers can easily purchase girls and teens by working through buscones – young men who work as pimps and often drive taxis or motorbikes.

Liana’s complex case was referred to IJM’s legal team, who worked with local prosecutors to secure justice. In August of 2016, Liana’s mother was convicted for sex trafficking and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Her long journey to healing has begun, but there are still challenges ahead as her stepfather awaits trial.

Vote to bring safety and protection to girls like Liana.

Additional Resources:

  • To learn more about how IJM combats sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic, view our factsheet

*A pseudonym.

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THIS MONTH'S PROJECTS

Strengthening A Regions Response

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Protecting Children From War-Based Sexual Violence

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Protecting Children From Recruitment

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THIS MONTH'S PARTNER

Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

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The use of children as weapons of war is among the most horrific abuses of our era, and a global threat to international peace and security.  If in the past, children were made to fight in spite of their youth, they are now being made to fight because o...
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