Interview with Jaclyn Lesch from IJM

Posted: October 23, 2012 in Children & Child Labor

I have just gotten off the phone with Jaclyn Lesch who is the Department Head of the Student Mobilization Team within IJM (International Justice Missions). She started her career at the Department of Justice where she was a spokesperson for the criminal division. While working there, she began to hear reporters talk a lot about the work being done with children around the world. This shocked her, interested her, and made her want to help. She has now been working for IJM since December of 2008 (4 years) and has put the number of college chapters at an all-time high of 150.

Lesch’s main job is to engage college students in the movement to end slavery, mainly in third-world, or developing, countries. She does this by raising awareness and going to college campuses to hold speaking events. She states, “It all starts with awareness, then financial support, support through advocacy & prayer, and finally, wanting the public to speak out and let elected individuals know that it is something the public is concerned about.” So, when Lesch goes to college campuses, she tends to leave students with something tangible that they can do – having each person sign a car to the senator saying they care and want the human trafficking law passed.

IJM as a whole is based more on the casework that they conduct in their field offices. Just this past year (2011), they were able to bring relief and rescue to 2,473 people & make 120 convictions. Within a period of 3 years, their office in Cebu (Philippines) saw an 80% of reduction in the minor’s commercial sex trade. The organization’s goal for the next few years is to open more field offices, to reach more people, and to mobilize those people. Their long-term goal, or overall goal, is “To rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible.”

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