Project #130 | Preventing Human Trafficking in Thailand
Our partnership with The Freedom Story
In Thailand, there are over 400,000 people who are stateless: they have no citizenship anywhere, and many more face ethnic discrimination. Their lack of citizenship makes stateless Thai children more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. 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.
We partnered with The Freedom Story to prevent human trafficking in the Chiang Rai region of Thailand. Critical to The Freedom Story’s prevention model are their human rights, counseling, and youth leadership programs. The human rights programs taught students and community members about the Thai law and their legal and human rights. Through their counseling programs and youth leadership clubs and activities, the students were given the tools to develop social and sexual awareness, tools for self-empowerment, and the healing of individuals and communities. The student leadership team became heavily involved in community outreach during this project. A group of leaders set up a booth at a local festival in Chiang Rai to educate their peers about the causes of human trafficking. Students also wrote, acted in, and produced a short film about online sexual exploitation of children. Children and families were provided access to counseling, legal services, and help ensuring that they are on the path to rightful citizenship.
Our collective impact
People Received Human Rights Training
Boonsri is the seventh of eight siblings. Her widowed mother works on a coffee farm, while Boonsri and her sister live in Chiang Mai. She loves to draw and dreams of becoming a police officer. There is a lot of drug trafficking in her village and she wants to help others and fight drug crime (plus she likes how smart officers look in their uniforms). Despite having Thai Citizenship and a Thai national ID card, officers can tell by her identification number that she is not a natural born Thai citizen- she is Akha, an ethnic minority group that faces significant discrimination. In Boonsri’s case, they will not allow her to be an officer of the law because Akha are not considered to be actually Thai. Boonsri serves as an example to the other students and community members who seek citizenship rights. Through the Freedom Story’s human rights programs, we work with them to think strategically and long term about the best ways to achieve citizenship. Ensuring students like Boonsri are able to pursue the highest paths available to them, despite setbacks and discrimination, is vital to poverty reduction and preventing the trafficking of children at risk.
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.