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Somaly Mam is a leading activist against human trafficking. Her foundation, the Somaly Mam Foundation, which she established in 2007, offers shelter, medical care, counseling, training and reintegration to victims of the sex trade across South East Asia. The mission of her foundation is clear; ‘to stop the fastest growing criminal enterprise [trafficking]’.
Mam herself is a survivor of this trade. In an article for The Times she explained what had happened to her.

At 12 she was raped and later sold into a forced marriage. Her husband beat and raped her frequently. At 15 he sold her to a brothel; where she would have to see 5 or 6 clients a day. One day, she remembers, she and another girl were sent off with two men. When they arrived there were 20 more men waiting for them.

Later on, Mam managed to escape. Since then she has been devoted to raising awareness about ‘modern day slavery’, to rescuing the victims, to raise and maintain international awareness and to see those responsible punished.

Mam has received wide recognition both for her work and her courage.