American Christian group helps battle prostitution in Cambodia
The International Justice Mission has become active in Cambodia in an attempt to reduce the amount of prostitution and pedophilia in the area, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Working alongside the U.S. Embassy located in Phnom Penh and the Cambodian government, this group has helped in the break up of brothels and illegal rings. Although independent, the International Justice Mission receives federal funds as a part of President George Bush’s religious initiatives to disrupt the immoral prostitution going on in SE Asia.
The breaking up of such activity usually involves the monitoring of potential suspects, their activities, and the children that they have been in contact with. All evidence is turned over to local authorities who can act on such information. Many hundreds have been said to have been released from forced prostitution as a result. It is not uncommon for prostitutes to seek Christianity after being involved in such unwanted bondage. The group also is active in Thailand, India, and the Philippines, but focuses on Cambodia where the problem of prostitution by force is too common.
The International Justice Mission is a member of the U.S. State Department's War Against Trafficking Alliance, which includes the Salvation Army, and Shared Hope International, which receives funds from the Northwest Christian Community Foundation.
Until now such intimate cooperation between the U.S. government and religious groups were unheard of. In Bush's 'State of the Union' address last January, the American President said, “the Government has often denied social service grants and contracts to these groups. By executive order, I have opened billions of dollars in grant money to competition that includes faith-based charities."