Article: “Modern slavery and tourism: when holidays and human exploitation collide”

This article focuses on the links between the tourism supply chain and modern day slavery, links which are often overlooked by tourists, governments and the tourist industry as a whole. The article sheds light on orphanage tourism, defined as when tourists visit orphanages to donate money, goods or time by volunteering. Regardless of intentions, selecting to support or participate in orphanage tourism is irresponsible. In recent years, especially in Southeast Asia, children in orphanages have come to be treated as tourist attractions and commodities for the orphanages themselves. This increase in demand for visiting/volunteering at these orphanages means that orphanages Continue Reading →

ILO Report: “Closing gender gaps could add US$ 3.2 trillion to the Asia-Pacific economy”

The recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, “World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends for Women” found that East and South Asia are the only two regions in the world where gender gaps have increased over the past two decades. Especially in the Asia-Pacific region, women are less likely to participate in the labour market, less likely to find work, and more likely to work for jobs of lower quality and lower pay. The report shows that reducing such gender gaps could not only improve conditions for women, but add US$ 3.2 trillion to the Asia-Pacific economy. Free To Shine Continue Reading →

Article: “Children must be alert to human trafficking”

Weerawan Mosby, founder and director of children’s rights protection group “HUG Project” and winner of this year’s TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery Award, spoke at a conference in Bangkok about the need to educate and protect children from human trafficking. Weerawan said she has seen more and more child victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in recent years. She stressed that efforts to rescue and support child victims of human trafficking is not enough to put a stop to such crimes. Weerawan advocated for a “defensive” or preventative approach, one that entails both educating at-risk children Continue Reading →

Article (Opinion): “Law makes a mockery of human rights”

In response to being placed on the Tier 2 Watch-list by the U.S. State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Thai government issued an emergency decree on migrant labour management. The decree included “harsh” penalties for the recruitment of undocumented workers, and for undocumented workers themselves. These new penalties have triggered fear and panic among both employers and migrant workers; in the days since the decree was issued more than 30,000 migrant workers, the majority from Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, fled Thailand or were repatriated to their home countries. This opinion piece from the Bangkok Post questions the new Continue Reading →

2017 Trafficking In Persons Report

The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report or TIP Report was released on the 27th of June by the U.S. State Department. The TIP report is released annually and categorizes governments based on their documented efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking. The report begins with an introduction to human trafficking from the US Secretary of State and reads:    “Human trafficking is one of the most tragic human rights issues of     our time. It splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines     the rule of law, and spurs other transnational criminal activity.     It threatens public safety and national security. Continue Reading →

Article: “Australia Looks to Outlaw Tours to Orphanages in Cambodia”

Australian senator Linda Reynolds said that many orphanages in Cambodia and other developing countries exploit children and that organizing tours or visits to such centers should be considered a criminal offense. Said Reynolds, “…Some children are stolen, some are recruited—the facilities pay recruiters to go out to poor communities and convince parents that their children will be better off in these institutions”. Free To Shine follows child protection policies and best practices and believes Cambodian children should not be treated like commodities, nor tourist attractions. We employ a family-based model in our prevention work, aiming to keep our girls out Continue Reading →

Article: “Education Can Keep People Out of Sex Trade”

At a seminar in Pattaya, Thailand on June 21st -22nd, speakers from the Department of Women’s Affairs & Family Institutions and the Ministry of Human Security & Development reported that the best way to keep vulnerable people out of the sex trade is through education, as it provides new options and alternative ways for those with financial difficulty to earn a living. Siem Reap, similar to Pattaya, is a major tourist destination with many “gateway” industries, making those in the surrounding villages more at-risk of entering the industry. Free To Shine believes that an education is the most important tool Continue Reading →