Project #117 | Preventing Human Trafficking in Thailand
Our partnership with The Freedom Story
Estimates suggest that as many as 60,000 children are exploited in the Thai commercial sex trade each year. Many of these children come from the rural regions of the North, where poverty, gender discrimination, and familial obligations encourage many to enter the sex trade. Others are tricked or forced into the industry. While the government has made some important strides toward overcoming the sexual exploitation of children, much work is still needed.
Over the past nine years, The Freedom Story has developed an innovative model of prevention in the northern region of Chiang Rai, Thailand. Near the Golden Triangle, made up of numerous rural communities, Chiang Rai has functioned as a supply site for the Thai commercial sex industry. A central component of The Freedom Story’s prevention model is their human rights and awareness programs. Their human rights programs teach students and community members about the Thai law and their legal and human rights. Through their 3-3-5 program, counseling programs, and camps, their awareness programs facilitate social and sexual awareness and the healing of individuals and communities. Our partnership with The Freedom Story supported their human rights and awareness programs so that the most vulnerable students could be educated about trafficking and the laws relating to marriage, divorce, guardianship, land ownership, citizenship and inheritance. A lack of knowledge in these areas can lead to exploitation, so raising awareness of human rights in schools and communities is a key strategy to prevent trafficking.
Our collective impact
People Educated About Preventing Trafficking
Kiet has faced many difficult challenges in his short life. Poverty, health concerns, family breakdown, and a struggle to succeed in the formal school system have all impacted him in recent years. While attending a teen camp designed to build emotional awareness, relational health and communication skills in students, he shifted dramatically from initially being disinterested to being completely absorbed during the mandala activity–an art activity that is used to help students connect to their inner, emotional lives. Kiet excitedly showcased his drawing at the end of the activity: a heart monster he wanted to send love to other people and help them be free in their emotions. In the next month, Kiet began helping run emotional awareness events at a local primary school, and he continues to be a committed participant in activities and workshops at The Freedom Story. Kiet still faces many obstacles, but he is beginning to recognize that his pain can be transformed into a space for others to heal, as he serves and leans into his own healing. *Name changed to protect identity
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our human trafficking fund.