10 American Groups Making a Difference

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1. International Justice Mission

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(Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images)

In 1997, lawyer Gary Haugen left his Justice Department job to create the International Justice Mission to fight for victims of sexual violence, forced labor, land seizures, illegal detention, and police abuse.

It's a massive task. According to UNICEF, 2 million children are exploited in the global sex trade, while, in his 2004 book Disposable People, anti-slavery activist Kevin Bales estimates that 27 million people worldwide are enslaved. Supported by donations and grants, IJM is chipping away at these grim statistics with its 335 caseworkers, investigators, and lawyers in 14 field offices in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Next: 2. First Response Team

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