A Red Light on Human Trafficking
We're Green Light, a service group who wants to create change for victims of human trafficking in Thailand. We want to spread awareness both inside and outside of the NIST community in an effort towards building a brighter future for victims of exploitation and slavery.
Human trafficking is defined as "illegally transporting people from one area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labour or sexual exploitation". Thailand is a country of origin, destination and transit for trafficking. Out of Thailand’s 4.9 million migrants, who make up 10% of the workforce, many have arrived in Thailand under these conditions. Green Light is partnered with the New Life Center Foundation, an organisation that works to rehabilitate young tribal women at risk of trafficking. Many women have been victims of this kind of exploitation, and many have found the support they needed in the New Life Center.
One such person is Ahbee, a young Chinese woman who was a victim of exploitation as a child. When Ahbee was three, her mother passed away, leaving her alone with her father and brother. Growing up in a poor household, Ahbee’s family struggled to get by on temporary jobs and low wages. Eventually, unable to provide for his children, Ahbee’s father sent his daughter to live with some acquaintances in Thailand. The family took her in, allowing her to attend a local school along with their children. However, Ahbee quickly realized the reason for the family’s unexpected hospitality; to keep a roof over her head, Ahbee was forced to work for them from morning to night, caring for their children, washing and cleaning, all without receiving a single baht for her work. At the age of 10, she started being raped by the husband. This sexual exploitation lasted three years before Ahbee was finally able to seek help from a teacher at school, and found refuge at the New Life Center. Ahbee was able to escape a life of exploitation and abuse, and she has been able to grow and recover tremendously in her years at the New Life Center, even graduating from one of the top universities in Thailand. Sadly, however, Ahbee is one of the lucky ones. Only 1% of human trafficking victims worldwide are able to escape their exploiters, a problem which is especially relevant in Thailand, where 610,00 people currently live in exploitation. The country has extremely high rates of human trafficking, especially among children, women and ethnic minorities. This is a problem which needs immediate attention, immediate support, and immediate action.
Green Light combines spreading awareness and fundraising to support victims of human trafficking. Our anti-trafficking campaigns include the Hike for Freedom, a trip which brings together international school students and members of tribal communities from the NLCF to raise awareness for the end of trafficking in Thailand. Green Light also generates proceeds at NIST selling tribal handicrafts made by women of vulnerable ethnic minorities. The proceeds from sales go back to the NLCF so that they can continue their work helping hundreds of young women and providing support to victims of trafficking.