In the realm of Human Rights, endless nonprofit organizations can be found. With a variety of focuses in terms of violations and regions, how do we find the nonprofit entity that resonates with our personal cause?
Here we highlight a few specific organizations that reach beyond the simplicity of ‘charity’ in their purpose.
Agape International Missions
When Don Brewster first found himself in Cambodia, he never imagined that years later he would be fighting on the front lines of child prostitution. Centered in Svay Pak, Agape International Missions has generated incredible change through their multi-tiered approach to ending sex trafficking.
In addition to preventative trainings and undercover sting operations through the AIM SWAT team that have seen hundreds of girls released from their prison, AIM owns a rehabilitation center for former trafficking victims and those they help to rescue. Through 22 Clothing, they are training women in new means of employment to prevent a return to the only trade they know-abuse.
AIM takes it a step further by also reaching the pimps and customers through The Lord’s Gym, a free fitness center available to local men as a means of building relationships. Through The Lord’s Gym, they have seen pimps leave this lucrative business of selling girls, and saying goodbye to a lifestyle promoting slavery.
The four central goals of AIM since the 1988 inception are Prevention, Rescue, Restoration, and Reintegration.
International Justice Mission
A well known and continuously growing nonprofit, International Justice Mission has set out on a mission to end the exploitation of those living as slaves due to extreme poverty. To date, more than 40,000 individual human lives have been rescued due to the efforts of IJM.
This slavery ranges from labor trafficking to police brutality, from elderly grandmothers exploited by neighbors to disturbingly young children having their violations posted online. The horrors witnessed by IJM are matched only by the fearlessness seen in their efforts to end it.
Amidst constant death threats, including those that have been carried through against IJM employees, this is an organization that stands firmly in opposition to the injustices faced by the poor of the world.
How do they follow through? International Justice Mission uses local and foreign lawyers, in the seventeen countries in which they work, to fight on behalf of those victimized. Through sting operations and legal battles, IJM continuously proves that rescue is possible.
The Refuge Initiative
Located in Northern Iraq, The Refuge Initiative is a project that builds micro-camps in tandem with displaced refugees. These camps give structure and community to those who have lost theirs as a result of violence.
The goal is to keep the camps small, sizing the communities to be similar to the villages the refugees come from originally. This is meant to minimize the shock and displacement generally felt in large refugee camps. This model encourages relationship building and a home feel that is often lost through displacement.
TRI also provides community centers, schools for local children, and works in vocational training and employment opportunities for the adults in the camps. This allows for a normalized society in the midst of the chaos of loss and growth for people who have nowhere else to turn.
For the many who have experienced violence and destruction in Iraq, and who are unable to find refuge in other countries, these communities are life-changing opportunities.
Directing efforts to areas of conflict in central and east Africa, Enough Project fights to empower victims and distribute justice to perpetrators. Additionally, Enough Project researches (and ultimately fights to break) the link between genocidal conflict and unethical financial transactions.
The Sentry, EP’s investigative team, works on the front lines to battle the atrocities being faced in conflict zones, while the organization as a whole promotes peace and human rights.
One of the current campaigns is the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, a community of students fighting the trend of conflict minerals, a product we can scarcely flee from in our modern society. Minerals used in our electronics, our jewelry, and a variety of other items, these students are taking charge to demand ethical standards for mining raw materials.
Human Rights Watch
Using a drastically different tactic, Human Rights Watch engages media and reporting as a means of leveraging justice. By exposing atrocities and, essentially, embarrassing governments or oppressors, they open the doors of communication.
Ruthlessly investigating global injustice, HRW is able to disclose the truth to the rest of the world and demand discussion with governments, regional coalitions, and entities in the private and public sectors to promote policy change.
Documenting the hidden behaviors, and with a reputation for extremely careful fact-checking, HRW is also able to provide intensive research often used in attempts to generate global change. Words have impact, and Human Rights Watch uses their words for that very purpose.
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