Project #158 | Preventing Child Trafficking in Thailand
Our partnership with The Freedom Story
Child sexual abuse, dysfunctional families and exposure to violence are major risk factors for trafficking all over the world. They can cause a child to detach physically and emotionally from their home environment. As one study explains, “unhealthy relationships and experiences in childhood result in multiple factors at the individual level, such as low self-esteem, need for affection, and inappropriate sexual boundaries, that increase an individual’s vulnerability to sex trafficking.” In a study of trafficking victims in the Mekong region in Thailand, around 20% of child victims admitted to being exposed to physical abuse prior to exploitation. A survey of teenagers in Chiang Rai, Thailand revealed that 21% of girls reported experiencing sexual coercion. While Thailand has made remarkable progress in combatting trafficking, there is still work to be done. An estimated 60,000 children are exploited in the commercial sex industry every year.
We partnered with The Freedom Story to help prevent child trafficking in Northern Thailand. Over the past eleven years, The Freedom Story has developed an innovative and holistic model of prevention that includes human rights education, counseling, and youth leadership programs. The human rights programs teach students and community members about the Thai law and their legal and human rights. Through the 3-3-5 program (a program that teaches students how to identify, prevent, and respond to sexual abuse), counseling programs, and youth leadership clubs and activities, the students develop social and sexual rights awareness, tools for self-empowerment, and the healing of individuals and communities.
Our collective impact
Total People Impacted
Citizenship Application Follow-Ups
Students Trained on Abuse Prevention
Since February of 2018, The Freedom Story staff has been helping one of their scholarship students, Pon, obtain all of the documents required to apply for Thailand citizenship. There were many hurdles that awaited Pon in the journey to gaining Thai citizenship. The Freedom Story coordinated with the staff of the Region 22 Church, an Akha Church of Christ in Chiang Rai, who has the working knowledge of the incredibly complex and bureaucratic application process. They had to obtain and send information regarding proof of Pon’s father’s birth and write a formal request for an application of Thai nationality. In January, The Freedom Story received word that Thai nationality would be allowed in Pon’s case. On January 16, 2020 Pon received his first every ID card. He thanked the staff at The Freedom Story and the staff at Region 22 Church for all of their help in obtaining Thai citizenship. This ID card means that he can now access full rights to education, travel, healthcare and home and land ownership.
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.