Sara Groves: International Justice Mission
JOINS INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION ON CAPITOL HILL TO ADVOCATE FOR
VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICING
Nashville, Tenn. Apr. 17, 2009…
INO Records’ Sara Groves recently returned from Washington, D.C. after
meeting with the offices of Minnesota Congress and Senate Aides on behalf
of International Justice Mission as a part of the Day of Advocacy.
Groves was among 100 individuals
from 25 states who took part in a day of advocacy organized by the human
rights agency International Justice Mission (IJM). Participants
met with more than 100 Congressional offices to build support for new
legislation being introduced in the House by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
The Child Protection Compact Act of 2009 aims to eradicate the trafficking
of minors into forced prostitution and forced labor in a few target
countries that have shown a demonstrated commitment to dealing with
the problem but lack adequate resources.
"I'm appreciative that
IJM is not only at the forefront of confronting this issue, but that
they give us the tools and empowerment to take our advocacy to the next
level,” says Groves. “Speaking directly to our leaders from Minnesota
about the importance of ending the trafficking of minors gave me renewed
hope in our ability to influence real change."
The trafficking of persons is
the third largest criminal industry after drugs and weapons, and the
fastest growing criminal activity in the world. According to UNICEF,
there are nearly two million children in the commercial sex trade worldwide
and, according to the U.S. Department of State, 80% of human trafficking
victims are women and girls, as many as 50% are minors.
“When it comes to fighting
human trafficking a relatively small amount of money goes extremely
far because authorities can leverage the impact of the law,” said
Holly Burkhalter, Vice President for Government Relations at IJM. “This
can change the entire calculation of crime in that community and trafficking
numbers go down.”
Groups like IJM are seeing big
improvements over short periods of time. In just under two years
of collaboration with local authorities in Cebu, Philippines, IJM has
seen the number of child prostitutes reduced by 70 percent
“IJM is a team of lawyers
and law enforcement officials who work around the globe to represent
people who wouldn’t normally have access to that kind of intervention,”
says Groves. “In Southeast Asia they work mostly freeing young girls
from brothels. Over a million women and children are trafficked every
year, but IJM is leading the way in setting new precedents in the fight
against human trafficking. In Africa, they represent the oppressed,
and work to restore land to widows who have been robbed of their land.
In South Asia they work to free families and groups of people from bonded
slavery. Basically, they are public defenders for the least of these.”
Amidst Groves’ trip to Washington
D.C., her single “Love Is Still A Worthy Cause” from her latest
studio recording Tell Me What You Know is currently at radio.
To view a viral video of the song, please visit http://wmedia.buzzplant.com/
Additional information about
efforts to secure justice for victims of sexual exploitation, slavery
and other forms of violent oppression can be found at www.ijm.org.
Since her debut
release in 2001, Conversations, Sara Groves has become one of the most
critically-acclaimed artists in the Christian music industry, receiving
rave reviews across the board for each recording by the likes of
Billboard, and consistently topping year-end reader's polls and
album of the year nods from the likes of CCM magazine, Christianity
Today online and more. On her new album, Tell Me What You Know,
Groves explores what she has learned over the past two years, lessons
on the value of long defeats, and the defiance of hope in the face of
insurmountable odds. Since the 2005 release of Add to the Beauty, Groves
has been questioning just how, exactly, she is called to do that. Her
answers came in a series of global conversations and experiences, from
the flood-ravaged gulf of Louisiana, to the genocide memorials of Rwanda,
to the testimonies of Southeast Asia sex trade survivors. These experiences
showed the disparity between some of the American pursuits of comfort
and wealth and the joy of joining the difficult work of social justice
and engaging in the suffering of the afflicted.
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