The Thailand government continues to take steps to meet the standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), relying heavily on funds from non-government agencies (NGOs) like those the Advancing Life Foundation has partnered with. Donations from ASEA associates have recently gone toward renovating and funding a one year lease for a victim rescue center as well as operational expenses for the ICAC center in Thailand.operating the Royal Thai Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Center.
This center provides experts with the tools to analyze evidence and build cases against possible perpetrators, and the Advancing Life Foundation is honored to have secured the building’s lease through 2019. ASEA executives & Advancing Life Director KimMarie Larsen personally visited the Royal Thai Police ICAC Center in March to oversee improvements.
In recent discussions with O.U.R., Thai ambassador to the US, Pisan Manawapat lauded the arrangement of an ICAC Center and what he called the “strong partnership between Thailand and the US to end child exploitation.” He believes it brings us much closer to providing a stronger “guarantee that criminals are brought to justice.”
“We are paying for a smaller ICAC center to be opened in Malaysia because they have seen the success of the Thailand ICAC. They have secured the property and are in the process of renovations and finding the appropriate people to run the center,” said KimMarie Larsen, Managing Director of the Advancing Life Foundation.
Thanks to the efforts and hard work of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), the silent prayers of 10 more hopeless, victimized children have been answered.
On April 6, 2018, a rescue team in Central America successfully executed a secret O.U.R. mission, rescuing 10 helpless victims of sex trafficking. The exact location of the rescue is undisclosed due to security risks and for the privacy of the victims. The rescue team on the ground is still actively pursuing the main trafficker.
Five of the 10 victims were children, and the other five were young adults who had been trafficked since they were children. The youngest girl rescued was 13 years old and came from an all-to-common vulnerable family situation. Her mother had passed away, and her father has substance abuse issues. Another victim rescued was an 18-year-old mother with two children—a three-year-old and an infant—and had been trafficked since she was just 10 years old.
Five of the rescued girls are being admitted “Batman’s Aftercare Services,” a 12-week program that provides business training and other essential services, like micro-loans to start a business. More importantly, it gives those who have been rescued something they never had: a choice. Batman is the undercover agent in the movie “The Abolitionists.”
Since its inception, O.U.R. has worked with dozens of legal entities to execute effective sting operations and rescue missions. By the end of 2016, these initiatives had resulted in the return of 693 underage victims to family and care centers, as well as the arrest of more than 300 traffickers.
“We are happy to celebrate in the victories of this great program but are not blinded by them.” Said KimMarie Larsen, ASEA managing director of events. “There is still so much work that can be done; there are still so many people we can help. This is why we will continue our efforts and do all we can to be a voice for those who do not have one.”
For more information, visit: advancinglife.org