Gary A. Haugen Honored by Secretary Clinton for Efforts against Modern-Day Slavery
By Andy Walker - Crossmap On June 26, 2012
Gary A. Haugen, who has been fighting for the victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and different forms of violence, was honored by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Tuesday.
The honor titled "2012 TIP Report Hero Award" from the State Department Trafficking in Persons(TIP) Office is the highest honor given by the State Department for achievements in battles against slavery.
Like Us on Facebook
Haugen is the president and CEO of International Justice Mission. IJM was founded in 1997 in response to a dire need of "healthcare, education, food and other vital services to the global poor and others in need."
It was the immeasurable suffering faced by the poor and the oppressed that stirred a group of lawyers including Gary Haugen to "launch an extensive study of the injustices witnessed by overseas missionaries and relief and development workers." Today, IJM has over 400 lawyers, investigators, social workers and other staff - about 95% of whom are from the countries where they serve.
Following the awards, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, detailing the current slavery situations in 184 countries by ranking them into three tiers. The annual report with the ranking system is a useful diplomatic tool to pressure the countries to endeavor more to stop trafficking and modern-day slavery.
In this report of 2012, Haugen's work was mentioned saying, "Mr. Haugen’s vision has transformed the landscape
of human rights advocacy and is empowering a new generation of activists to help local governments transform justice systems to protect the poor from violence. This powerful model is working: independent evaluation has demonstrated that after four years of IJM partnership with local law enforcement in Cebu, Philippines, the availability of minors for sex decreased by a stunning 79 percent."
"I think for IJM our faith has just been very helpful in providing the internal strength to actually be able to do this work," Haugen told The Christian Post.
"We wanted to follow God in that work and we wanted to encourage other Christians to engage the work of justice in
the world who might otherwise not be aware, had not grown up in, or had not been raised in the biblical teaching of justice."
Haugen emphasizes that faith has been key to bringing the necessary courage and strength in order not to lose hope in the fierce and challenging fight against the serious injustice of human trafficking.
"The struggle against slavery is the struggle against violence. It's a struggle against aggressive forces of evil that can be very intimidating." Haugen told CP.
"In the midst of that fight there's exhaustion, frustration, defeat, sacrifice, and loss. So one really needs to find the internal spiritual capacity to actually continue such a fight."
"While we find community as a team and support as a community of Christian faith, our great joy is to be able to do the work of justice in collaboration with others who may not share that faith and in service to all kinds of communities regardless of their own faith," Haugen said.
"We find great community and strength in our faith together and great joy in serving others who may not share that faith
and to serve for the benefit of others."