21 March 2011

“I Bet you Didn’t Know [This] about Human Trafficking!”

Chab Dai staff from around the globe share “I bet you didn’t know this” facts about human trafficking, based on their work as practitioners on the ground, & through complementary academic research. Human trafficking happens globally, and we are working in the USA, Cambodia, & Canada!

Joan, Chab Dai USA Program Manager, is based in Sacramento where our office has been operational since 2008, she says:
"Did you know that an estimated 200,000 American children are at high risk of being trafficked for sexual exploitation each year?
Did you know trafficking is one of today's fastest growing criminal industries? Poverty, inequality and gender are factors that increase vulnerability but they, in and of themselves, don't cause trafficking. Just like other industries, human trafficking is a demand-driven market and it touches every nation across the globe, including the United States.”

Helen, Chab Dai International Director, shares from over 10 years of living in Cambodia and being involved with the issue of trafficking:
“Human trafficking is much more complex than most people want to understand. The focus is often on sex trafficking, but for us labor trafficking and migration is as important.
Our work has two major components: prevention and demand. Without targeting the demand, trafficking will never end. Lot of people get confused with prostitution and human trafficking, which creates debates that sometimes aren’t actually addressing human trafficking.
Probably 2% of the prostitutes have chosen their job. My focus is on the 98% who never had a choice.”

Yeng, Chab Dai Cambodia Country Directory, speaks from his experience starting and implementing a grassroots trafficking prevention project across Cambodia:
“In the rural areas in Cambodia the people have little knowledge of human trafficking and they trust people too much, especially those from the cities.
Also many people don’t know about the fact that a lot of boys are being sexually abused in Cambodia.”

Julia, Chab Dai Canada Coordinator, is an advocate to end trafficking and started our office in Montreal in 2009:
Every year 1500 women are brought into Canada as slaves. One thing that surprises a lot of people is that forced marriage is happening in Canada today, especially in the Jewish and Mormon communities.
There was also a recent case outside of Toronto where 19 Hungarian men were bonded in the basement, working 18 hours a day with one meal per day. This is modern slavery happening in our own neighborhood.”

For information about these statistics & thoughts, learn more by downloading our Recommended Reading List, or by contacting us.

18 March 2011

Building National Leaders

Chab Dai believes in building leaders. This year we are focusing on supporting and empowering directors & managers through forums, trainings, discussion groups, and reading lists. Books are always being passed & traded across our desks!
Our team is currently studying 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, and say they appreciate the wisdom of John Maxwell too. In Siem Reap we facilitate a monthly directors and managers peer group with our member staff; this week we talked about good communication skills.
We acknowledge that great leadership and management skills enable staff to implement great projects and therefore better serve & protect children.
As a team we have created a mini-reading list of leadership books we like:
(Photo above of our Directors & Senior Management Team in Cambodia.)

08 March 2011

Celebrating Int'l Womens Day

To join in the celebration of the 100th Year Celebration of International Women’s Day, Chab Dai Cambodia partnered with The Asia Foundation & USAID to host an event called “A New Life, A New Hope: Celebrating International Women’s Day”. Attended by leaders of government ministries, donor agencies, and non-profit organizations, the event highlighted the issue of reintegration of female trafficking survivors. It was an exciting night, featuring a drama, delicious cupcakes, and a beautiful display of artwork created by survivors.

The event included a showing of “A New Life, A New Hope,” a drama that will be used to educate police officers, social workers, government leaders, and NGO staff in Cambodia about the realities of what happens after a girl is rescued from trafficking, including testifying in court, learning life skills, and returning to her family or community.

Chab Dai collaborated with our members to put together an art exhibit by survivors of trafficking. We printed quotes from our new research (The Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project: The Chab Dai Study on Reintegration), and paired the text with art. Girls living in shelters were also asked to artistically express their hopes for the future, and how they would define “freedom.”

“Freedom is not abusing women, giving value to women, giving chances for women to share ideas,” said one female staff working to end trafficking.

In total, fourteen pieces of art hung beneath trees for event attendees to view throughout the evening. And we hope that it demonstrated the resilience, courage, dreams, and value that all women everywhere possess.

To read more about The Asia Foundation's counter-trafficking work in Cambodia, click here.

04 March 2011

RESEARCH: Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project

Chab Dai believes that research is the first step of the response process when dealing with issues as significant and grandiose as trafficking & sexual abuse. As a coalition we strive to understand and provide information that will improve our member’s prevention and aftercare project strategies.

In 2010, Chab Dai and partners in Cambodia launched The Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project: Study on Reintegration. Over a period of 10 years, this study aims to better understand the experiences of survivors of abuse who have been reintegrated back into society after rehabilitation. Researchers will follow victims as they become survivors starting from the time they are in the aftercare program. The purpose will be to ‘hear’ from the survivors themselves, about their lives, understandings and experiences so their voices can contribute towards a greater understanding of the complexities of reintegration.

The First Year Progress Report features findings from the Phase 1 of the research completed in 2010. Researchers focused on collecting data from aftercare programs about how they reintegrated girls back into their communities. They also facilitated peer group discussions with girls currently in aftercare programs about:
  • What the ideal aftercare shelter would look like;
  • What their hopes and fears are about leaving the aftercare program;
  • And what they think a girl needs to take with her in her heart, her mind, and in her suitcase when she is reintegrated.
Chab Dai presented these preliminary research findings at our Shelter Forum this week and plan to begin data collection by the middle of this year. If you would like more information about funding or partnering, please contact our Research Coordinator at cambodia@chabdai.org