We are coming alongside The Freedom Story to teach human rights and trafficking awareness to over 3,000 students, and help transform the culture of a region that has functioned as a supply site for human trafficking.
Compared to some nations in Southeast Asia, Thailand is considered a developed country. Unfortunately, this development is unevenly distributed. As a nation of wide ranging disparities and a long history of sexual exploitation, Thailand’s booming sex trade is no surprise.
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.
ODW + The Freedom Story
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. Since its inception, The Freedom Story has provided educational scholarships to 200 at-risk children and youth. Its broad program of prevention has directly impacted over 2,400 community members.
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.
Join us as we partner to teach humans rights, raise awareness and understanding, and facilitate healing in the Chiang Rai region of Thailand. One Day’s Wages will match your gift to this campaign up to $50,000.
In Thailand, there are over 400,000 stateless people. Surachat is not only a stateless person, but an orphan as well. For the stateless, even a basic thing like transportation is a challenge. Because he lacks proper identification, Surachat cannot get a legal drivers’ license, and when riding his motorbike to school or work, he risks fines and even jail. Yet, if he wants to work or study he has no other choice.
Despite huge setbacks, Surachat is focused on his future largely because of the support he receives from The Freedom Story. Surachat loves to study history and culture. While people look down on him for being stateless, he doesn’t let this affect his view of himself. Surachat explains, “Not having citizenship is like I am invisible. Everywhere I go, people insult me and are mean. But in my opinion, everyone is born differently. Even though we were born without citizenship, we are also human beings.”
The Freedom Story’s human rights and awareness programming seeks to instill this self-confidence in all of the region’s students – whether stateless, poor, or female. It also teaches students their internationally recognized human rights and offers pro-bono legal support. It is a vital aspect of the work of prevention – transforming culture with the hope that one day people like Surachat will be accepted for who they are, not for what their legal status is.
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