Minneapolis Lao-American fights human trafficking in Laos :
“My grandma wanted me to get education in the states and use my education and talent to assist the needy,” Seneyakone. “I’ll work with and train young people in Laos so they can become advocates for themselves.” […]
According to the VFI website, the organization has three major programs: protection and empowerment of women and children, healthy villages and local leadership and land and livelihoods.
“You’ll see very young girls, who were lied to,” she said. “Somebody told them that they would be working at well-paying jobs at factories outside Laos. But when they get there, they’re forced to work as prostitutes.”
Lao people who fall victims to sex trafficking are mostly migrants in search of jobs in neighboring countries such as Thailand, according to a 2012 United States government report.
“Many Lao migrants, particularly women, pay broker fees, normally ranging from the equivalents of $70 to $200, to obtain jobs in Thailand,” the report states. “But after their arrival, [they] are subjected to conditions of sexual servitude in Thailand’s commercial sex trade.”
Seneyakone said some of these people are eventually rescued, others escape. When they return to Laos, they’re marginalized by their relatives and the communities they live with. “They’re labeled as bad people — prostitutes,” though they’re actually victims.
Read more / MinnPost