The Mekong Cluba united response to slavery in asia
what is slavery?When adults or children lose control oftheir lives. When they are held againsttheir will, living in constant danger,receiving little or no pay, beaten, rapedand sometimes killed. People with norights – their freedom taken from themby criminals – people who don’t care.
the scale of the problem in Asia• Today, there are over 9 million slaves in Asia.• The problem is most acute in the Mekong countries (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam) “Not acting is not an option. Each day 5,400 people are trafﬁcked. In the time it takes to read this presentation, 12 people in Asia will have been sold.” Matt Friedman, United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafﬁcking.
about a boy• Luy Heng was 16 when he was captured and forced to work on a ﬁshing boat in Thailand.• He worked for 18 hours a day without pay and was shackled below deck when his boat entered port.• 60% of boys like Luy Heng, who have escaped from their boats, have seen crew members shot and killed, or thrown overboard to drown.• Dishonest businesses in the Mekong’s food and manufacturing sectors will be a primary target for the Mekong Club
about a girl• Thammit was 17 when she was captured and forced into a life of prostitution. On her ﬁrst night as a captive, she was raped by ten men.• The money paid to her was taken by the owner of the brothel. She was allowed to keep her tips. She was told that once she paid her captors US$5,000 she would be freed.• The capture of young girls from the Mekong countries into a life of forced prostitution will be our second major area of focus.
The Mekong Club - The Concept• Our objective is to harness the energy and expertise of the private sector to reduce and eliminate slavery in Asia.• We need: • committed leaders from business • expertise (branding, telecoms, media, law, accounting) • capital• Our goal - to achieve our objective – and make ourselves redundant - in 5 years.
The Mekong Club Logistics• The Mekong Club will be Hong Kong based but regionally focused.• A charitable trust, with a Board comprised of 12 leaders from the private sector.• Working in close partnership with established players in the human trafﬁcking ﬁeld, including the UNIAP.
Year 1 projects - The MediaIntensive and immediate efforts to provide facts, interviews andanalysis to support slavery relatedreporting among targeted media in Asia.
Year 1 projects - Food and Products1. Develop a “slavery free” logo that will be applied to selected food and manufactured products from the Mekong countries. To apply our mark, businesses will need to demonstrate, through a supply chain audit, that their products are made without the use of slave labor.2. Support raids on targeted slave labor compounds, with intense media coverage. Three objectives - to free people held in slavery, to send a message to other slavery businesses and to publicize the need for “slavery free” supply chains.3. Publicize our branding to major purchasers of Mekong products and seek their participation in our brand.
Year 1 projects - Prostitution1. Support and publicize at least three well- planned raids in locations/countries where young girls are trafﬁcked into brothels/sex establishments.2. Simultaneously work with Governments in these countries to seek their help to close the worst sex establishments.
Year 1 projects - Technology Offer needed for the supply andmaintenance of electronic equipment – telephones, laptop computers, iPods and iPhones (used to showmini videos that inform victims in a variety of languages) – for use by ﬁeld personnel.
Year 1 projects - Legal Use the considerable legal talent available in Hong Kong to helpinterpret and apply civil remedies in selected Mekong countries to seize trafﬁcker assets and/or seekcompensation. The funds would be used to support victims and/or to ﬁnance counter trafﬁcking efforts.
Discussion• Your views• Enlisting private sector leadership and expertise• Setting to work to raise capital