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 Pathfinders Justice Initiative, is a Nigerian native, a thought leader and leading expert on the intersection of the economic empowerment of African women 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 pressing issues in her home country, resigned from her partnership at a New York law firm to become a full time advocate on behalf of women and girls. Utilizing a model that features cross-sector collaborations and public-private partnerships, her commitment is to structural transformation of both the narrative and the economic landscape for African women, with a focus that extends beyond ending generational poverty and 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 transform any society.
Ms. Benson-Idahosa lends her expertise as a strategist and an advisor/consultant to organizations as well as state, national and international governments and has served as a consultant to the Government of Nigeria (Parliament), the UN Rapporteur on Trafficking, UNODC, the UK Home and Cabinet Offices, Nigeria’s federal anti-trafficking agency as well as to the government of her home state in Nigeria, Edo, an internationally recognized hub of sex trafficking. In her role as an innovative facilitator/trainer, she has organized and led multiple high level stakeholders’ national and international conferences/roundtables, including Nigeria’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 July 2022, along with her team, Ms. Benson-Idahosa launched www.HERSAfrica.com, the continent’s first online Hub of Economic Resources for Survivors, a global platform for survivors of sexual exploitation that provides them with access to tailored resources as well as Edo State’s Coordinated Care Mechanism (CCM), Nigeria’s first state referral mechanism for local service providers. Under her leadership, Pathfinders has provided holistic PATH (Personalized Action to Healing) Plans for over 3,000 survivors, maintains a thriving shelter, has conducted ground-breaking research on recruiters of sex trafficking in Nigeria and engages in outreaches that reach millions of people daily.
As an activist, published writer, researcher and speaker, Ms. Benson-Idahosa’s work has been featured on multiple radio and television news outlets, including CNN, CNNi, BBC and Al Jazeera. She is a 2023 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report Hero and has been named one of New York’s New Abolitionists. Ms. Benson-Idahosa, a Huffington Post blogger, is also 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 and internationally recognized for her efforts in creating access to economic empowerment for African women and for seeking an end to gender based violence in the developing world. Click here for our speaker/training request form or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.