We leverage a broad network of companies, government officials, and individuals toward a shared vision of eradicating slavery. We work with government officials, law enforcement agents, and local community members to raise awareness and understanding of the complex issue of human trafficking, assist victims, prosecute perpetrators and prevent future cases, and reduce stigmas that surround the survivors.
Anti-Trafficking Day. On December 7, 2007 the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia adopted December 12th as National Anti- Human Trafficking Day. Since 2009, annual Anti-Trafficking Day events have raised awareness, fostered change, and promoted prevention efforts and dialogue. Anti-Trafficking Day is sponsored by the Somaly Mam Foundation and AFESIP Cambodia, in conjunction with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. The event unites various anti-trafficking stakeholders on the ground and provides a platform to engage government officials, the local community, and the victims and survivors of human trafficking in conversation.
Since the event’s inception, we have witnessed major milestones: at the first Anti-Trafficking Day in 2009, the attendance of Deputy Prime Minister Men SamAn highlighted the progress that had been made at the government level in recognizing the issue of human trafficking in Cambodia. In 2011, the government awarded Somaly with the prestigious Mony Saraphorn award, an honor awarded to citizens whose work has made significant contributions to Cambodian society. The over 4,000 participants in 2011 included students, police, military police, local authorities, teachers, journalists, NGOs, and activists. Honored guests included Deputy Prime Minister Her Excellency Mrs. Man Sam On, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Minister Her Excellency Mrs. Ing Kainthapavy, a representative from Phnom Penh Hall His Excellency Moeun Samat, and American actress and activist Susan Sarandon.
Mass Media. In Cambodia, our Voices For Change leaders take part in a groundbreaking weekday regional radio program: the “Somaly’s Family” hour educates Cambodian listeners on how to recognize, address, and prevent trafficking, with a representative from Voices For Change to lend a survivor’s perspective and field questions from listeners. The show educated listeners on human trafficking law and sexual exploitation of women and children, targeting an audience of students, teachers, parents, police, military police, karaoke bar owners, restaurant owners, job recruitment agencies, law enforcement officials, and other relevant authorities. Guests include lawyers and other legal experts, shelter service experts, and Voices For Change members. The show aired 59 times last year, and participants fielded 150 calls from listeners. The show airs in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kampong Chnang, Kratie, Pursat, Kampot and Kampong Thom provinces, Monday through Friday.
From SMF's New York offices, we run campaigns and employ social media daily to educate and inspire our supporters. Our celebrity supporters help us to reach a broader support base with the facts about trafficking and a call to action. Our annual gala and seasonal Cocktails for a Cause events help to build community in the anti-trafficking movement and raise funds to support programs and projects. And targeted campaigns like our recent tshirt blitz on Sevenly helped our supporters to do good with their shopping dollars.
Police and Judge Trainings. Voices For Change leaders lead training sessions for law enforcement agents, government officials, and community members to recognize and properly address cases of human trafficking, in an ongoing partnership with the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP). They focus on existing anti-trafficking laws and the need for compliance with rule of law, as well as the underlying conditions that lead to trafficking and the particular needs of victims. First-hand accounts of the horrors of life as a sex slave serve as dramatic wake-up calls to those in the legal profession who have pledged themselves to the cause of justice.
Strategic Campaign Partners. We have partnered with companies like The Body Shop, Hilton Worldwide, and entities like NYC Office of the Mayor and UNIAP (UN Inter Agency Project to combat trafficking) to champion the rights of victims and the prosecution of traffickers and 'johns.' The Body Shop's Petition to End the Sex Trafficking of Women and Children secured over 700,000 signatures in the United States and seven million worldwide.
PROJECT FUTURES global network. Our network of passionate volunteers uses what they know and who they know to create innovative events and campaigns and raise awareness and funds in their communities. In the first year of the program, our team of over 2,000 dedicated volunteers spearheaded nearly 50 projects in their hometowns and on campuses, and collectively raised over $300,000 for the cause. Launch parties in Sydney, New York, and Los Angeles garnered press and media attention, and brought the issue to light with tens of thousands of individuals and supporters, along with specific ideas to take action.
Conferences and Speaking Engagements. Joining the global conversation on sex trafficking is critical to driving solutions and effecting major change. Every year, Somaly and the SMF team participate in a wide scope of conferences and speaking engagements.
Conferences include but are not limited to:
Crimes Against Children Conference | COMMIT | DLD Conference | EG Conference (Entertainment Gathering) | EMV Conference, Monterrey Mexico | Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women Summit | Global Youth Leadership Conference | Google Ideas Summit | iLive 2 Lead | Imagine Solutions | Newark Peace & Education Summit with the Dalai Lama | Oslo Freedom Forum | UN Office of Drugs & Crime conference | USAID panel at White House | Womenetics | Women's Conference with Maria Shriver | World Economic Forum at Davos Roundtable Breakfast | and many more.
We cannot reach our full potential as a global community until we share, and then achieve, the vision of a world where women and children are safe from slavery.