|By PR Newswire||
|October 22, 2012 10:00 AM EDT|
FreedomCommons.org provides first-ever ratings for members of Congress on anti-trafficking support; equips Americans to connect and take action in their communities
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency that brings rescue for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression, launched The Freedom Commons (freedomcommons.org), an online destination for anti-slavery advocates to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
The Freedom Commons features a first-of-its-kind congressional scorecard to equip everyday Americans to track and hold members of Congress accountable for their anti-slavery records, promote strong anti-trafficking legislation at the federal and state level by engaging in action-based campaigns, and connect with others in locally and nationally.
IJM led a critical online movement in the U.S. this year, garnering 73,000 signatures for an anti-slavery petition asking President Obama to exert his leadership and eliminate slavery in U.S. supply chains. On September 25, one of IJM's main requests in the petition was met, as the President addressed the issue of modern-day slavery and delivered an executive order to eradicate slavery in U.S. government contracts, while also explicitly recognizing IJM as leader in the abolitionist movement.
"Advocates absolutely make a difference—especially today when individuals are equipped with more online and offline tools than ever to create social demand and build political will," said Holly Burkhalter, vice president of government relations at International Justice Mission. "The Freedom Commons will empower advocates further – to learn more about what their own policymakers are doing about slavery so they can get engaged with tangible action and connect with like-minded abolitionists locally."
The Freedom Commons' first national call to action is directed towards the future U.S. president and calls on 25,000 Americans to urge both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney to make ending slavery a priority in the next term if elected. Other priorities include passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, the blueprint for U.S. leadership in the fight against trafficking, and a campaign asking major supermarket chains to guarantee slavery-free tomatoes.
Users can take action on The Freedom Commons through:
- Tracking elected officials' engagement in anti-slavery policies through the Justice Campaigns Congressional Scorecard– this unique scorecard tracks all U.S. members of Congress – Senate and House of Representatives – and their activities to support anti-trafficking legislation.
- National Advocacy – members can engage on national-level anti-trafficking legislation change and learn more about federal bills and programs.
- State Advocacy – the site provides the latest information on existing laws and pending anti-trafficking legislation in every state, ways to take action to strengthen anti-trafficking policies, and directly reach out to members of Congress.
- Local Groups – anyone passionate about ending slavery can create or join a local group, finding local events and connecting with other abolitionists in their communities.
Already working at the forefront of anti-slavery casework in several developing countries around the world, IJM created The Freedom Commons to amplify the social demand of millions of Americans and empower them to lead the charge to eradicate modern-day slavery.
About International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work in 16 communities in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems - police, courts and laws - effectively protect the poor.
Learn more at ijm.org.
SOURCE International Justice Mission