Human Trafficking Survivor Somaly Mam Leads the Call for Action at the Summit to End Violence Against Women

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Washington, DC – Human trafficking survivor and advocate Somaly Mam joins activist Eve Ensler, actress Reese Witherspoon, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, journalist Judy Woodruff, and experts in the field for a global summit on violence against women.

“It is time for governments to invest significant resources in a coordinated global effort to end all forms of violence against women..." -Somaly Mam

Human trafficking survivor and advocate Somaly Mam joins activist Eve Ensler, actress Reese Witherspoon, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, journalist Judy Woodruff, and experts in the field for a global summit on violence against women.

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women Summit, which is being held during the week of March 8th in Washington, DC, is the result of a partnership between Vital Voices Global Partnership, Avon Foundation for Women, and the US State Department. It is the first step of a coordinated effort to end violence against women through innovative solutions, the sharing of best practices, and co-ordination of strategies. The three-day summit will focus on the three most pervasive crimes against women: human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault, which includes rape as a weapon of war.

This event brings together the public and private sectors from fifteen countries for a series of panel discussions and working groups facilitated by leading journalists and activists. Sectors include business, government, law enforcement, the NGO community, media, and academia.

“It is time for governments to invest significant resources in a coordinated global effort to end all forms of violence against women. This summit is the right step forward and I am encouraged to see people like Dr. Mukwege, Eve Ensler and Ambassador CdeBaca joining forces as part of this public-private partnership. Together, we can create a world where women and their children no longer need to live in fear,” said Somaly Mam.

Bill Livermore, executive director of the Somaly Mam Foundation, said “We are thrilled that Somaly Mam is taking part in this important effort to end violence against women. As a survivor herself, she knows all too well the key role that survivors must play in creating effective, innovative solutions to the global tragedies of human trafficking, rape and domestic violence. The solution will take collaboration from all sides: government, nonprofits, private organizations, and individuals. We’ve seen the progress that can be made through our own partnerships with the Cambodian government, the UN and companies like The Body Shop and LexisNexis. This summit is an excellent example of that type of collaboration, and an important step toward ending the suffering of the millions of women and children who are victims of violence and the crime of modern day slavery.”

About Somaly Mam
Somaly Mam, a survivor of human trafficking, went on to found the largest shelters in Southeast Asia and has rescued over 5,000 girls in the past ten years. Somaly has garnered worldwide respect for her work and is now a renowned leader, advocate and protector of human trafficking victims. Universally recognized as a visionary for her courage, dignity, ingenuity, and resilience, Somaly was honored as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2009 and was featured as a CNN Hero. She is also the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, The World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC), Glamour Magazine's 2006 Woman of the Year Award, and has won accolades from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

About The Somaly Mam Foundation
The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit public charity committed to ending modern day slavery around the world.

Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. With over one million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year, it is a global crisis that must be stopped. More resources are critically needed to support the rescue and rehabilitation of these young victims.

Founded by sexual slavery survivor, Somaly Mam, the foundation supports rescue, shelter and rehabilitation programs across South East Asia, where the trafficking of women and girls, some as young as five, is a widespread practice. The Somaly Mam Foundation also runs global awareness and advocacy campaigns that shed light on the crime of sexual slavery and focus on getting the public and governments involved in the fight to abolish modern day slavery.

More about Somaly Mam at:
http://somaly.org/whoweare/somaly

More about the Somaly Mam Foundation at:
http://somaly.org

Press Contact:
Chris Wright
cwright (at) somaly (dot) org
202.253.2900

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