Almost a year ago, I joined a project called 'Moving to Raise' that took me to the borders of Vietnam and China once a month in order to carry out awareness-raising campaigns to the children of ethnic minorities. Stories of victims of human trafficking on the Internet and research papers had never before been so exposed to me, whispered to my ears and struck me as the most violent reality. I met a girl who were sold to China by her own father; we could hardly exchange any word, as all she could utter in my language was her name. She was 6 years old.
When the chance came, combined with the fact that SEALNet has contributed a large part to my core values, I trusted that I could actually give my all out to this summer project that could hopefully empower the community in Siem Reap to stand up for each other against human trafficking. I feel deeply connected to this cause, because Siem Reap in Cambodia, to me, is like Sa Pa in Vietnam, where mass tourism and modernization had negative effects on the local community, in which little girls were sold into child sex tourism, local identities got washed out and they chose put on a more catchy Western look, the local authorities paid attention only to the economic benefits without effectively taking measures to protect the community members from these externalities. Sharing all these thoughts, I am made humble to my project members whom I am now grateful to having the chance to meet and work with. I believe that as a team, we are not silenced, as silence gives consent, to the issue of human trafficking, however big it might be.