One Day’s Wages is partnering with LIFT International to provide support and hope for survivors of exploitation and trafficking.
Thailand is a source, destination and transit country for trafficking into the commercial sex sector. Arguably it is the hub of commercial sex in Southeast Asia, and as a result there are a plethora of establishments offering sex for sale, from open fronted bars to backstreet brothels.
If traffickers and child sex offenders believe they face a high risk of being prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned, this will create a powerful deterrent that will drive them out of business. This will also prevent further victims from being trafficked, a method referred to as prevention through prosecution. Despite more than two decades of substantial investment in counter-trafficking initiatives, the global community is losing the war against traffickers. Historically, strategies to reduce trafficking have focused on the behaviour of victims: attempting to prevent vulnerable people from becoming victims through advocacy and awareness programs, or rescuing and protecting victims through aftercare and rehabilitation. But trafficking is a crime committed by offenders, not victims. This calls for an approach that includes prevention, persecution, and aftercare for survivors.
ODW + LIFT International
One Day’s Wages is partnering with LIFT International to provide critical support to survivors through LIFT’s Protect Team. LIFT International is based in Thailand and serves men, women and children from many countries who find themselves exploited and in need of assistance in Thailand. LIFT International believes the best strategy is to significantly strengthen criminal justice systems by increasing the number, significance, and length of convictions, particularly through focusing on organized crime and ‘protected’ criminals. LIFT also works with government agencies and other non-governmental organizations to get survivors of trafficking the care and support they need.
This partnership will empower LIFT’s social workers in their aftercare work, buy Love Packs for survivors at government shelters or at home, endow a Survivor Fund that provides cash assistance or scholarships to survivors of exploitation as they are repatriated and rehabilitated in their home communities, and train other caregivers working with vulnerable and exploited people. This will provide safety, support and hope for more men, women and children as they rebuild their lives.
Join us in providing critical support to survivors of trafficking in Thailand. The progress bar above includes our intended match amount of $15,000 for a total granting goal of $30,000. Your gifts will be matched dollar for dollar by One Day’s Wages, doubling your impact.
After years of working forced labor for extended family members, Chanh, originally from Laos, was coerced by a Thai man as a young teenager to move to Thailand and work at a Karaoke bar. “This guy told me I would serve food and drinks. I would receive a 3000 THB a month salary and 100 THB a day for food. He didn’t mention going with customers,” Chanh said.
“Going with customers” is how many victims of exploitation explain their work. It was scary for Chanh–she had no one to rely on and nowhere to return to. So she “went” with customers. Chanh was denied the salary she was promised and did not receive money for food, and she was constantly demeaned and devalued by the owner of the Karaoke bar and the customers. She was devastated.
LIFT’s identification and removal operation in partnership with law enforcement happened two months before she turned 18. A removal can be really traumatic for women, but the night of the operation, LIFT’s social worker, Chu, helped her and the other girls know their rights. Chu also brought a towel to shield their identities from the media. Chanh was held in a government shelter for months so that she could testify against the karaoke bar owner. Now back in Laos, she is recovering and learning to rely on and trust herself.
Chanh says, “I see my own value now. I have freedom. I’m not under control of anyone anymore. I used to receive verbal abuse every day. Now, I learn by myself. I am struggling, living alone, but I have to be strong. I have overcome.” LIFT social workers Jane and Chu are able to visit Chanh or be available by text message to provide ongoing support. “It’s good to have someone like Auntie Jane and P’Chu following me and providing me support,” Chanh says. “Even my relatives never had this care and love for me.”
*For privacy and safety reasons, the photo used here is not a photo of Chanh.
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