Anti-Sex Trafficking Organizations: Where Does the Money Go?
The international human trafficking trade is a tough business to track, but the United Nations’ most recent Global Report on Trafficking in Persons logged around 49,032 detected victims across 148 countries in 2018. Roughly 50 percent of the victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38 percent for forced labor and 6 percent for forced criminal activity. At the same time, only 9,429 suspects were investigated or arrested, with 7,368 traffickers prosecuted and 3,553 convicted.
To fill the gaps between law enforcement and victim support, a sizable anti-sex trafficking segment has emerged in the nonprofit sector. These organizations push varying missions and models of action—some partner with law enforcement entities to capture suspected traffickers, some extend housing and social services to victims, and others focus on outreach and engagement with at-risk children and young adults.
Many organizations in the anti-trafficking arena stem from evangelical Christian groups.
With overwhelming public support, donors have fueled heaps of cash into faith-based organizations that aim to end all forms of modern slavery in the U.S. and abroad. In this report, we’ll profile a handful of organizations operating in this area. Collectively, they reported $157.8 million in revenue and $155.7 million in expenses in their most recent financial statements.
But where exactly is the money going? Let’s take a look:
International Justice Mission
The International Justice Mission (IJM), based in the Washington, D.C. area, is one of the largest organizations of its kind in this space. With 21 program offices in 14 countries, IJM partners with local authorities to rescue individual victims and leads projects aiming to improve the justice system’s response to targeted crimes.
According to its most recent Form 990, IJM took in $74 million in revenue (mainly in the form of contributions and grants) and reported $72.4 million in expenses in 2019, including $43.2 million for salaries, compensation and employee benefits, $7.7 million for fundraising, $1.1 million for grants and $28 million for other expenses.
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A handful of leadership staff earned over $200,000, including IJM Romania Country Director Shawn Kohl (earning $350,611), CEO Gary Haugen ($297,300), VP of Africa and Europe Strategy and Operations Biju Mathew ($265,743), Global President Sean Litton ($237,920), Regional Forced Labor Slavery Hub VP Andrey Sawchenko ($233,639) and International Crimes Against Children Specialist Brandon Kaopuiki ($202,990).
Program services accounted for $53.4 million in total expenses in 2019, with $39.7 million directed towards its core mission. IJM offers a lengthy statement of program service accomplishments, explaining that its partners, attorneys, social workers and investigators served 3,656 victims, 304 criminals were restrained through court-ordered detention or convictions, and over 1,977 survivors and family members received aftercare services. IJM also provided education and training to over 28,000 law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, social services professionals and other individuals.
Separately, IJM’s engagement and awareness efforts accounted for $13.6 million in expenses, through programs engaging thousands of churches, college and high school students, and training 260 volunteers in 2019.
IJM is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. You can see IJM’s MinistryWatch profile here.
New York-based Covenant House is a Christian nonprofit that provides housing and long-term support services to young adults facing homelessness, abuse survivors, and victims of human trafficking and exploitation. It has a presence in over 30 cities across six countries.
Globally, the organization’s Casa Alianza programs serve neglected and trafficked children in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Its sites in New York and Toronto run targeted housing programs to support trafficking survivors, and a site in Honduras specifically serves girls who have been trafficked, abused or sexually exploited. The organization also partners with researchers to produce reports studying the dynamics of human trafficking.
Covenant House’s branches in Alaska, California, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey and New York have received 14 grants totaling over $8 million from the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, including about $2.7 million awarded in 2020.
In its 2018 Form 990, Covenant House reported $70.4 million in revenue and $70.9 million in expenses, including $35 million for grants, $12.8 million for salaries and other compensation, $8.9 million for fundraising and $22.2 million for other expenses.
In its statement of program service accomplishments, Covenant House didn’t specifically mention human trafficking services or programs. However, it stated that $25.5 million in expenses (including $19.9 million in grants) served its immediate housing programs, including shelter and crisis care. Next, $11.6 million went towards education and employment services, $7.1 million (including $5.8 million in grants and $2.4 million in revenue) served transitional living programs, and $11.2 million in expenses (including $8.5 million in grants) was directed to aftercare housing.
Covenant House is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. You can see the MinistryWatch profile of Covenant House here.
Rapha House International
Missouri-based Rapha House International provides aftercare, counseling and medical services, education and vocational training, social work and legal advocacy to child survivors of slavery and sexual exploitation. Its four aftercare campuses are located in Cambodia, Thailand and Haiti, and in 2019, it facilitated over 1,160 medical visits and around 3,100 counseling visits.
In its 2019 Form 990, Rapha House International reported $3.8 million in revenue and $3.3 million in expenses, including $1.8 million for grants, $499,603 for salaries and other compensation, $292,281 for fundraising, and $989,613 in other costs. Of the $2.7 million it spent on program service expenses, the organization directed $2 million towards aftercare facilities, $418,943 for prevention (which includes its outreach and sponsorship programs), and $293,067 on engagement (speakers, media, leading trips to program locations and other activities).
These numbers are in line with the financial breakdown that’s published on the organization’s website.
Rapha is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. You can read its ECFA profile here.
The Samaritan Women
The Samaritan Women (or TSW), a Christian nonprofit located in Baltimore, offers a training and mentorship program for startup shelter organizations, research and education through its Institute for Shelter Care, community engagement and more services supporting women recovering from human trafficking. In 2019, the organization introduced the first cohort of four startup shelters to its shelter mentoring program. The group received a year of intensive training on how to start and run a shelter.
In its 2019 Form 990, TSW reported $2.1 million in revenue, mostly from contributions and grants, and $1 million in expenses. Per its statement of program service accomplishments, $339,965 in expenses served its restorative program, $252,745 for its Institute for Shelter Care, $107,589 towards awareness, advocacy and prevention, $24,664 to its transitional program, $15,419 for its graduate program, and $40,083 directed towards other program services.
Agape International Missions
California-based Agape International Missions (or AIM) runs restoration and transitional homes, employment centers, education and training programs, emergency family care, kid’s clubs and more resources to support sex trafficking victims in Cambodia. It will soon launch an aftercare center in Belize, serving 24 trafficking survivors.
The organization says its SWAT teams (which partner with local law enforcement) and self-assisted rescues (aided by social workers) have rescued more than 1,500 victims and arrested over 350 traffickers.
According to its most recent Form 990, AIM generated $7.5 million in revenue and $8.1 million in expenses in 2019, including $5 million for salaries, compensation and employee benefits, $534,297 for fundraising, $66,700 for grants and $2.9 million on other costs.
AIM spent $7.3 million on its core programs and services, with $2.2 million going towards restoration programs that helped 33 survivors in 2019. Over $2.1 million was spent on prevention efforts through its community church, education programs, medical clinic, gym, family care facility and kids’ club. Another $1.8 million went to its reintegration programs (job training and connections to employment opportunities), which served 68 new survivors in 2019. Around $1 million was spent on other program services.
These totals are generally in line with the financial statements published on the organization’s website.
Agape International Missions is not a member of the ECFA.