The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students combat human trafficking through International Justice Mission

Photo by Provided

Mollie Birmingham, Kathryn Seela, Hannah Robinson, Claire Stuart Meiner,  Chloë Kennedy, and Hadden Young are the leaders of International Justice Mission.

Without traveling across the globe or lobbying in D.C., these Aggies have impacted the world through their involvement in the International Justice Mission.
As a branch of the largest international anti-slavery organization in the world, IJM’s Texas A&M chapter spreads awareness for human trafficking in the U.S., raises money for international rescues and works with law enforcement in Bryan-College Station to report trafficking fronts.
According to a 2017 report from the International Labour Organization, over 40 million individuals are currently enslaved worldwide. IJM aims to bring more awareness to this ongoing issue.
International studies senior Hannah Robinson is the A&M’s IJM chapter president. Involved in the fight against human trafficking since seventh grade, Robinson has witnessed human trafficking numbers rise, making the issue more prevalent than ever.
“It’s just really important that we keep this issue very highlighted so that we can hopefully come and solve this issue that’s going on,” Robinson said. “The more people that we get to look out for people who might be going through human trafficking, the better and we can get our representatives involved and [advocate for legislation] that will combat human trafficking around the world.”
Robinson said in addition to their efforts to raise awareness among students on campus, the organization goes to hotels and informs workers there how to detect signs of human trafficking.
“What I love about IJM as well is that as they’re fighting human trafficking overseas and lobbying in D.C. for legislation, they’re able to utilize us in college who might as much time, but can also make a difference,” Robinson said.
Elementary education sophomore Chloë Kennedy is the chapter’s vice president of communications and campus outreach.
“I just wanted to be able to stand up for people who wouldn’t be able to stand up for themselves, and I’ve always felt really called to like serve in the realm of oppressed women specifically,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy saida rescue mission through International Justice Mission costs $6,300. Through several fundraisers, A&M’s chapter has been able to fund entire rescue missions.
According to Kennedy, the organization has even caught a few nail salons in College Station that were staging for trafficking. IJM was able to inform the local police and shut the operations down.
“[We need to] get the students of Texas A&M more aware of how common and close of a problem this is,” Kennedy said. “A lot of times people think, ‘Oh, that doesn’t really affect me because that’s totally not in our area,’ and that’s kind of what I thought going into the organization, but no, this stuff happens everywhere all the time.”
Communication sophomore Mollie Birmingham is the organization’s vice president of fundraising. According to Birmingham, when she first heard about the issue of human trafficking, she was motivated to to do anything in her power to help stop it.
“It is not an issue that will get resolved without the help of a lot of people,” Birmingham said. “The span of sex trafficking is a lot greater than most people realize. We need as many people and as much prayer as we can get to help stop slavery and allow the victims to be freed.”

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