News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 22, 2012: Somaly Mom and members of her team pose for photographers on the red carpet as they arrive at the IAC HQ Building, in New York City, Wednesday October 17, 2012, for The Somaly Mam Foundation Gala “Life Is Love,” celebrating the work of Somaly Mam and her team in rescuing, recovering, and empowering victims of the sex trade in Southeast Asia, and working to eradicate modern slavery.
Somaly Mam is a Cambodian survivor of sex slavery.
She doesn’t know her age, or her real name as she was sold at a young age and was exploited and abused in the brothels of Cambodia. But she escaped, and dedicated her life to rescuing and recovering victims of sex slavery and empowering them with education, skills training, and choices. Since 1996, Somaly and her team have helped women and children in Southeast Asia to escape their plight and to build lives of dignity and hope, and to fight the problem at its root with prevention, advocacy, and strategic partnerships.
Somaly has become one of the most renowned activists and advocates in the anti-trafficking movement. She has been honored as Glamour’s Woman of the Year, a TIME 100, a CNN Hero, one of Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women, and with the World Children’s Prize for her work.
Founded in 2007, the Somaly Mam Foundation’s multilateral approach supports Somaly’s work in Southeast Asia, empowers survivors as next-generation activists and advocates, and engages governments, corporations, and individuals in the fight through mass media and education.
Photo: Hayden Roger Celestin