On 28th April 2016, some of Asia’s most influential businesses and thought leaders attended the Trust Forum Asia in Singapore , a global event hosted annually by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Besides a series of stirring speeches and thought-provoking exchange among corporate CEOs, human rights advocates, media leaders and award-winning lawyers on tough realities and challenges in tackling human trafficking at its roots, delegates were deeply moved and convicted by the call to stay committed to the goal as they listened to Longdy Chhap’s sharing.
Longdy, a trafficking survivor is an exemplary testament of true transformation from dust to dignity. At a tender age of three, Longdy was disabled by polio and lost the use of his legs. He shared how life took a turn when he was finally sent to Hagar after having been trafficked from Cambodia to Thailand to beg on the streets several times over a span of five years since he was eight years old. Today, Longdy is fully independent and serves as intern counsellor to mentor child victims of trafficking. At the same time, he is also studying two degrees in university, specialising in Psychology and the English Language.
Through dedicated “Action to Impact” pitches, delegates were encouraged to forge tangible commitments by creating tangible initiatives to stop human trafficking and to advance strategic measures across the Asia Pacific region.
At last year’s Trust Forum Asia held in Hong Kong, Hagar was extremely privileged to receive funding commitments from Linklaters and Goldman Sachs to develop a guidebook for lawyers and child advocates for the first time in Cambodia, to support child victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system. The training materials also include tools to help children and their caregivers understand the court process checklists of steps to protect the child in court.
At the recent Forum, Deborah Papworth, Hagar International Legal Adviser gave a report to the audience on the development of these tools and the anticipated outcome that would see a significant step towards improving the experience of child victims and witnesses in the justice process and creating a child-friendly justice system in Cambodia.
The conference ended on a high note as delegates demonstrated a strong resolve to carry through their commitments to put human trafficking out of business. See the photos for a glimpse of the action!