LIFE IS LOVE - SOMALY MAM
Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, with over two million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year. Born to a tribal minority family in the Mondulkiri province of Cambodia, Somaly Mam began life in extreme poverty. Somaly Mam does not have any birth records showing when she was born or whom her parents were. She was sold at the age 12 and was also a survivor of sex slavery. Now, she is a current-day human rights activist. In her early days, her family often resorted to desperate means to survive. Somaly was forced to work in a brothel along with other women and children for nearly a decade, and was brutally tortured and raped on a daily basis. She was forced to prostitute herself on the streets and made to have sex with five or six clients per day. When Mam would not have sex with a client, she would be locked up, tortured, raped, and threatened with death; She also claimed that she was forced to watch her best friend was viciously murdered. Fearing she would meet that same fate, Somaly escaped her captors and set about building a new life for herself. But she vowed never to forget those she left behind, and soon returned to Southeast Asia. She dedicated her life’s work to saving victims, building shelters and programs for healing, and empowering survivors to become agents of change In 1993 an aid worker from France found Mam and helped her escape Cambodia. She moved to Paris and eventually married a French citizen, but returned to Cambodia to help women caught in similar situations she experienced.
In June 2007, Mam co-founded the Somaly Mam Foundation, which officially launched in September 2007. The Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of sex slavery and the empowerment of its survivors. Its vision is to ensure a world where women and children are safe from slavery. In addition, its mission is...
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