Regent Students Lobby against human trafficking in Richmond, Va.
BY JENN WAKEFIELD
The IJM Regent Chapter teamed up with The Richmond Justice Initiative and other abolitionist to lobby against human trafficking in the Richmond area.
On Wednesday February 29th, students gathered for the Virginia lobby day to end human trafficking. A press conference took place in the commonwealth capital building addressing human trafficking legislation. Advocates met with legislators to discuss the problem with sex and labor trafficking in Virginia. Many do not know this problem still exist and northern Virginia is a hot spot for sex trafficking. (www.polarisproject.org).
There were many bills being discussed such as: The Victim Service Plan to provide services such as healthcare, education, job training, and legal services. This bill would get the Department of Human Services more involved by developing a plan to help identify the victims of human trafficking.
Some of the other bills include a posting of a national human trafficking hotline and the expunging of criminal records for victims. Currently, there are nine pending bills related to trafficking.
Regent IJM has also recently visited the International Justice Mission headquarters in Washington D.C and soon will be holding a fashion show to raise money for human trafficking awareness. While visiting the IJM headquarters, students met the Founder of IJM, Gary Haugen, and attended the IJM prayer time. In this prayer time updates were given from all over the world on findings of human trafficking from their 14 field offices.
While touring the headquarters IJM Regent learned vital information to bring back to the chapter. “World changers begin by making an impact right where they are. They follow their passions and pour themselves out for something greater. At IJM, we often talk about how students are key agents of change (otherwise known as world changers),”said Jaclyn Lesch, the Student Ministries Program Manager. She also gave steps on how to get involved from where you are:
Call on President Obama to help end modern-day slavery. We are asking 25,000 people to lend their voices to this initiative in an effort to influence the President’s budget and policy goals related to human trafficking.
If you have an iphone or Droid, download the IJM Mobile app! It will take you closer to the frontlines of our work than ever before.
Register to attend the Global Prayer Gathering 2011. This event is the best opportunity to go deeper with the work of IJM. The GPG (April 8-10, 2011) brings together staff and friends of IJM from all over the world for a time of seeking God and seeking justice for victims of oppression. You can also sign up for the 2-day conference right before the GPG just for college students!
Support the work of IJM and bring rescue to the oppressed around the world by signing up to be a student Freedom Partner.
For more information on what IJM is and does go to http://www.ijm.org
Get involved, Stand up and speak out against injustice.