Pathfinders Justice Initiative, Inc.® (PJI) is a leading international impact organization dedicated to the prevention of sex slavery/sexual violence and the liberation of enslaved women and girls through the direct eradication of root causes. We work in Nigeria and with Nigerian survivors globally to build a best practices model for the world. We are registered and in good standing as an NGO with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria and as a New York State 501(c)(3) non-profit. Learn more.
R. Evon Benson-Idahosa, the founder and Executive Director of PJI, is a Nigerian native, a leading expert and thought leader on the subjects of modern day slavery and gender based violence in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also a trained English Barrister and American lawyer who, when her passion and compassion called her to address these issues in her home country, resigned from her partnership at a New York law firm to became a full-time advocate on behalf of women and girls. Her commitment is to structural transformation of both the narrative and the economic landscape for African women, with a focus that extends beyond eradicating generational poverty and instead seeks wealth creation for a generation of women who are confident in who they are and in the transformative power of their voices. She is a firm believer that if you empower women and engage men as allies for gender justice, you can change any society.
Ms. Benson-Idahosa is a dynamic speaker and a published author whose voice amplifies thousands of young voices via PathFinders’ long running campaigns, including #Not4Sale, its anti-sex trafficking campaign. She also lends her expertise as an advisor/consultant to organizations as well as state, national and international governments on the issues of sex trafficking, the sexual exploitation of African women and girls, unsafe migration and gender based violence. (She currently serves/has served as a consultant to Nigeria’s Parliament, Nigeria’s federal anti-trafficking agency (NAPTIP), the UK Home Office (via its Modern Slavery Project), the UK Cabinet Office, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, UNODC and the government of her home state, Edo.) In her role as an innovative trainer/facilitator, she has organized and led multiple high-level stakeholders national and international conferences/roundtables, including Nigerian’s first ever Gap Analysis on human trafficking and unsafe migration, trains parliamentarians and serves as a legislative drafter. Her work has culminated in the production of Nigeria’s first national Guidelines for rehabilitation service providers and law enforcement officers, judges and prosecutors on human trafficking. In August 2021, along with her team, Ms. Benson-Idahosa launched HERS Africa, the continent’s first online Hub of Economic Resources for Survivors, a platform for survivors of sexual exploitation that will provide survivors with access to tailored resources, regardless of where they are in the world. Under her leadership, Pathfinders has provided holistic PATH (Personalized Action to Healing) Plans for over 2,500 survivors, maintains a thriving shelter, has conducted groundbreaking research on recruiters of sex trafficking in Nigeria and engages in outreaches that reach millions of people daily.
Ms. Benson-Idahosa’s work has been featured on CNN, CNNi, BBC, Al Jazeera, CCTV-America, ABC, NBC, SiriusXM Radio, Channels Television and The Huffington Post LIVE and she has been named one of New York’s New Abolitionists. Ms. Benson-Idahosa, a Huffington Post blogger, is a 2019 recipient of France’s Emerging Leaders Program award, a 2019 (and 2017) Vital Voices Global Freedom Exchange Fellow and Speakers Bureau Member, a 2018 TEDx speaker, a 2018 ‘The Platform Nigeria’ speaker, a 2016 United States White House State of Women “Nominated Changemaker” and has been nationally recognized for her efforts in seeking an end to gender based violence in the developing world. Click here for our speaker/training request form or email her at email@example.com.
Our mission is to prevent sex slavery/sexual violence and to liberate enslaved women and girls through the direct eradication of root causes.
PJI envisions a world where a fundamental change of human consciousness eliminates the demoralization and subjugation of women and girls. We envision the first generation of women and girls who experience full freedom of choice in education, occupation, financial mobility and physical movement.