Don’t miss this extraordinary story of a brave woman’s fight to overcome poverty and sexual slavery to become an internationally renowned campaigner, working tirelessly to eradicate the root of human trafficking.
Born into a tribal ethic minority family in Cambodia, Somaly Mam struggled through poverty and limited opportunities during her childhood. Because of this, Somaly was sold into a life of sexual slavery by a man who posed as her grandfather. At a very young age she was forced to work in a brothel and she witnessed terrible violence and even murder. She made it her mission to escape, and she eventually broke free from her captors.
Haunted by her experiences and determined to make a difference, Somaly established a non-governmental organization called ‘Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire (AFESIP)’, (‘Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances’) www.afesip.org. She became co-founder and president of AFESIP Cambodia in the capital city of Phnom Penh. With Somaly’s leadership, the organisation dedicated itself to the rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration of victims of sexual slavery. AFESIP now has 155 social workers in Cambodia and the neighbouring countries of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. The organisation has saved over 4,000 girls since its founding in 1996. But Somaly’s success has come at a price. She and her family have faced numerous death threats for her work.
In 2007 Somaly co-founded a new organisation that would raise awareness of this issue, fund and expand AFESIP, and support other grassroots organisations on the frontlines of the global sex slave trade. It would be called the Somaly Mam Foundation, www.somaly.org
Her incessant diligence and perseverance to combat sex slavery and human trafficking has brought Somaly enormous international acclaim and she is now one of the most prolific activists fighting sexual slavery. She has been the recipient of several awards, including the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year for 2006, CNN Hero, The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) for the year 2000 and recognition from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Somaly lives in Cambodia where she continues to risk her life to rescue the victims of sexual slavery and help them realize free and fulfilling lives.
Hear this remarkable woman’s story at PrimeTime’s first event for the Outreach Programme for the new Board Year 2009/ 2010.
7.00 pm: Registration and Networking
7.30 pm - 8.30 pm: Presentation
8.30 pm: Networking and finger food
9.30 pm: Meeting ends
Photographs and images used are obtained from publicly-accessible resources. No copyright infringement is intended.