Human Trafficking Survivors Train Cambodian Police and Government Officials

Cambodian human trafficking survivors will work with the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) and the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT) Task Force to eradicate human trafficking.

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The power of these public-private partnerships can be seen in the eyes of the young women who escape the human sex slave industry and become advocates for change.

(PRWEB) February 1, 2010

Cambodian human trafficking survivors will work with the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) and the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT) Task Force to eradicate human trafficking.

The survivors, part of the Somaly Mam Foundation’s Voices for Change (VFC) program, will train police and government officials on laws and issues related to sex trafficking and forced labor in Cambodia.

The training will focus on four Cambodian provinces -- Pailin, Battambang, Kampong Cham, and Takeo. The survivors will help participants better understand Cambodian anti-trafficking laws and the need for compliance with the Rule of Law. The training will also raise awareness of the underlying issues that lead to human trafficking and the specific needs of trafficking victims. The survivors will both lead the training sessions and help monitor and evaluate progress in the area after the training concludes.

A public service initiative will complement the training courses in each area. Two television and 24 radio talk shows are already committed to scheduling programs in 2010 that raise awareness of sexual exploitation and human rights issues in Cambodia. Voices for Change participants will help the stations create programs on topics such as trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation, child sex tourism, safe migration, new anti-trafficking laws, and victim assistance.

William Livermore, Executive Director of the Somaly Mam Foundation, says that programs like Voices for Change are perfect examples of Public-Private sector partnerships -- governments, corporations and NGO’s working together to address society's needs. “The Somaly Mam Foundation is proud to be able to partner with the United Nations, our corporate sponsor LexisNexis, and the Cambodian Government on such an important program,” Livermore said. “The power of these public-private partnerships can be seen in the eyes of the young women who escape the human sex slave industry and become advocates for change.”

About Human Trafficking:
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. South East Asia is particularly hard hit by the effects of this crime. Sexual tourism and a lack of enforcement result in the victimization of thousands of young women and children every year.

About the Somaly Mam Foundation:
The Somaly Mam Foundation (http://www.somaly.org) is a non-profit public charity committed to ending modern-day slavery around the world.

Founded by sexual slavery survivor, Somaly Mam, the foundation supports rescue, shelter and rehabilitation programs across Southeast Asia. The Somaly Mam Foundation also runs global awareness and advocacy campaigns that shed light on sexual slavery and involve the public and governments in the fight to abolish slavery.

About the Voices for Change Program:
The Somaly Mam Foundation provides interested and qualified survivors from its rehabilitation program the opportunity to help eradicate human trafficking.

Voices for Change (VFC) is designed to give survivors an opportunity to help themselves by helping others, and to provide a platform for their voices to be heard in the courts and by the public. The organization's vision is that a new generation of leaders in the fight against human trafficking will arise from those who have experienced the pain of slavery.

Program participants join legal training seminars and courageously share their stories with magistrates, judges, and other members of the legal community to help them better understand sex slavery. Survivors who have undergone rescue, recovery, education, and reintegration also provide critical services to fellow victims of human trafficking. VFC members speak with new victims brought to the centers, complete intake forms, teach classes, share life skills training, and provide love and support.

About the LexisNexis Rule of Law Initiative:
LexisNexis combats human trafficking by applying our resources, people, solutions, legal expertise and direct financial support to combat human trafficking wherever it exists.

LexisNexis sponsors the Somaly Mam Foundation and Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire (AFESIP), or Acting for Women in Distressing Situations. LexisNexis also sponsors special events around the world for government and legal professionals in order to raise awareness of the existence of human trafficking.

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