Remarks by Ms. Boom Mosby, Founder and Director of the HUG Project and a 2017 TIP Report Hero from Thailand, 27 June 2017, U.S. Department of State
“Thank you. Secretary Tillerson, it is a great honor to be standing here today on behalf of a 2017 TIP Hero and especially on behalf of human trafficking’s – human – human trafficking victims around the world.
I would like to tell you about one of those victims: a girl I will call Jane. She was the first trafficking victim I worked with. Six years ago, Jane was exploited in sex trafficking when she was only 13 years old. Like millions of other men, women, and children around the world, she found herself trapped in the darkness of modern day slavery through manipulation and false promises. Jane’s traffickers used the seduction of money to lured her into their control. In hindsight, Jane would say that she took a wrong turn and made mistake, but the truth is she is a victim.
No matter how much recovery Jane experiences, the physical and emotional scars will mark her for a lifetime. That is why human trafficking, whether for labor or for sex, is not only a crimes against an individual; it is a crimes against human dignity. But thanks to the devoted people like the heroes in this room, freedom is possible. Jane will tell you that the key ingredients to her recovery have been patience and unconditional love. What she needs from us is to stand with her at her worst. Today, Jane is about to finish high school and is determined to continue her education in social work and make a difference in the lives of other victims like her.
Success story like Jane’s could not happen without collaboration. One example of this is the Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. TICAC represents a new model of cooperation between law enforcement and NGOs. We are putting aside personal agendas and bringing together dedicated and passionate individuals to accomplish our common goals. Our focus is on a victim-centered approach: always asking what is in the best interest of the child. The victim is always our highest priority.
Today, we are receiving the title of hero, but in fact, we do not possess any supernatural powers. We are here because of the hard work and team work of many heroes. In the end, when facing the evil of human trafficking, we are all confronted with a choice: Do nothing or do something.
When looking at this choice, I am reminded of our past king, the late His Majesty King Rama IX, who died less than a year ago. As Thailand long-reigning monarch, he was often referred to as the “father of our nation.” He truly looked at the Thai people as his children, having compassion for their suffering and working hard to improve their lives. Today, I call upon the government, leadership, and ordinary citizens of every country to follow the late Thai king’s example and look after their people as their children.
Source: U.S. Department of State (https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2017/06/272205.htm)
For her full remarks, please visit https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/879723540588634112