Trafficking of Women: A Regional Update
Evening presentation by Somaly Mam, victim of sexual slavery, anti-human trafficking activist, and co-Founder, Somaly Mam Foundation
Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry and is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world — a global crisis which requires significantly more resources to support the rescue and rehabilitation of its victims. The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit charity that works to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors to help them create and sustain lives of dignity. Co-founded by Somaly Mam, the foundation supports survivor rescue, shelter, and rehabilitation programs globally.
Born to a tribal minority family in Cambodia, Somaly Mam began life in extreme poverty and was sold into sexual slavery. Hers is a story of danger, desperation, and, ultimately, triumph. Forced to work in a brothel alongside other children, Somaly was tortured and raped on a daily basis and witnessed the murder of her best friend. Fearing the same fate, she escaped her captors and set about building a new life for herself and dedicated herself to saving victims and empowering survivors of sexual slavery. She established the Cambodian non-governmental organization, AFESIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Situations) in 1996 to help victims and in 2007 established the Somaly Mam Foundation. Somaly is the author of The Road of Lost Innocence, which tells her remarkable story and was honored as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2009 and featured as a CNN Hero.