CEBU, PHILIPPINES – A heavy chain today locks the doors of the Red Lips bikini bar in Cebu, Philippines. The bar was permanently shut down last week. Just a few weeks ago, as American families sat down to their Thanksgiving meal, officials halfway around the world gave thanks for shutting down a bar that trafficked girls and women in Cebu, Philippines. IJM had assisted with the original rescue operation, and staff were on-site for the momentous occasion.
It happened on Thursday, November 26. Government officials locked the bar door with a heavy chain—no more trafficking would happen here. Thanks to the Cebu City Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (a coalition of government agencies and NGOs) and the Mayor’s office, the official closure came just one month after the convictions—a fast time frame.
IJM Philippines National Director Jesse Rudy commended the collaboration that resulted in meaningful justice: "It is a fine example of the public justice system working together to protect Cebu’s citizens from sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking has significant consequences for the persons who engage in it and the establishments who employ them. Our hope is that, as these costs are realized, this horrible form of abuse will stop.”Posted on December 15, 2015