The Best Podcasts of 2022 for Justice Lovers 

By Hsu-Ann Khoury

Modern slavery and online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) are increasingly on the public radar. More and more podcasts are helping to raise awareness and to educate listeners. Here are our top 5 recommendations for justice lovers seeking to understand more about the issues that International Justice Mission’s work addresses. 

  1. The Outlaw Ocean, Episode 3 

The Outlaw Ocean podcast, a series on illegality in the world’s oceans, includes a powerful episode on slavery at sea. Reporter Ian Urbina boards a Thai deep-sea vessel and sees first-hand the use of forced Cambodian labour, including the heartbreaking experience of Lang Long. IJM’s Southeast Asian teams are all too familiar with stories like this, through our work combatting cross-border trafficking and forced labour in the region and especially in the Thai fishing industry. Listen here. 

Learn more about IJM’s work in the Thai fishing industry. 

  1. Threads 

This recent ABC mini-series explores the ethics (or lack thereof) of fast fashion in an entertaining and down-to-earth way. Host Veronica Milsom interviews everyone from ordinary Australians hooked on fast fashion to pioneers working to shift the dial. She also takes a very personal approach, often turning the lens (or the mic?) on herself and her own habits. Find six half-hour episodes, plus a couple of bonus extended interviews here

Read the story of a young woman IJM helped rescue from forced labour in the garment industry. 

  1. The Fight Of My Life: Finding Ruby 

We are loving The Fight Of My Life: Finding Ruby podcast, excellently produced by Rich Thompson and the team at Cadence Media – Australia. The six-episode series follows the real-life story of Ruby, trafficked as a teen to a cybersex den, and her journey of overcoming. It features extensive interviews with Ruby herself and IJM staff.  

While the crime is a dark one, the narrative never strays into the sordid and the tone here is consistently hopeful. If you are a fan of true crime narrative podcasts, don’t miss this! The dearth of 5-star reviews doesn’t lie. Here’s our CEO Steve Baird‘s: 

“The best podcast I have listened to. I was audibly gasping listening to this, and completely drawn in. The story is told with power, professionalism and sensitivity. It is a heavy topic, but one we simply can’t ignore.” 

  1. The Children in the Pictures 

If you’ve seen the documentary at one of our screenings in 2021, or on SBS On Demand, this podcast will give you more – more behind-the-scenes content and more details on how Australian law enforcement investigates online child sex abuse cases. Includes interviews with investigators and audio of conversations with a convicted Australian child sex offender who ran a dark web network for other offenders. Listen now. 

Watch the documentary. 

  1. Closing the Net 

This podcast series is produced by the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation – the experts in child protection. It’s an effort by law enforcement to address the fact that only half of Australian parents discuss online safety with their children.  

Episodes explore different forms of online abuse (including online sexual exploitation of children), the nature of technology, the work of law enforcement, plus practical tips for parents and caregivers. Episode 9 on international collaboration features IJM Australia CEO, Steve Baird. 

Closing the Net was a finalist for Best Documentary Podcast in the Australian Podcast Awards. Listen here. 

Did you know that IJM works closely with the Australian Federal Police to combat online sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines? Learn more about our collaboration through the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre. 

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