The HUG Project has been actively engaged in not only handling cases, but also providing support to government shelters that aid trafficked and abused children. Our dedicated staff frequently offers consultations and facilitates collaborative discussions to explore strategies for assisting trafficked children. To ensure well-informed decisions regarding the victims of human trafficking, our team has established connections with psychiatrists and experts in the field.
We express immense gratitude for the existence of online platforms, which enable us to involve experts from distant provinces in crucial meetings requiring their guidance.
Furthermore, our team recently played a vital role in coordinating efforts between a partner organization, cybercrime police, and government social workers. This collaboration was essential in implementing protective measures for 20 victims of online sexual exploitation and identifying survivors of human trafficking.
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all those who have provided incredible support, enabling our team to advocate for policy changes while simultaneously assisting trafficked and exploited children.
In one of our most recent cases, 2 girls frantically ran away from a Christian home and were begging for help. The girls said that they were being abused by a Christian children’s home leader and they were able to find a way to escape from their abuser. The HUG Project was asked to be on this case and our staff quickly coordinated with TICAC police from Bangkok to help investigate the case. After the gathering key evidence during the investigation, the police arrested the offender for the charge of child sexual abuse as well as possession and production of child sexual abuse materials. It was later confirmed that the girls were survivors of human trafficking.
The team also rescued and identified 16 more girls who are survivors between the ages of 6-18 years old. Some of these girls have families and some are orphans. Many of them wish to continue their education but they were afraid that no-one would support their education if they left so they were scared to run away from their abusive situation. We recognize the courage that it took for the first two girls to run away and also for the other survivors to speak up about the abuse they experienced. Luckily, the HUG Project was not only able to help in the investigation process but we were also able to assist the survivors throughout the healing journey. Our staff listened carefully to the girls and they told us what they needed to help them heal. Upon hearing how much they wanted to continue their education at their school our staff was able to connect them with education funds so they can continue their education and remain close with the friends they had made.
This was a difficult case to be a part of and it was quite hard to see the pain that the children had gone through. However, we continue to be grateful that we had the funds to be a part of this case and to help the girls continue their education. Thank you all for supporting the HUG Project so we can keep supporting children survivors of human trafficking.
The survivors have long awaited their day in court. Because of Covid, their court date kept getting pushed back, but now they finally have a chance to testify and to get the justice they deserve. The HUG team has been with the survivors since the very beginning. Our team is there to ensure that they are treated with dignity and to also make sure that they are comfortable and feel supported throughout the entire process. We are there for the big moments as well as the small ones. The other day, our team accompanied them in court and brought them their favorite drinks and snacks and did their best to keep spirits high. This process is emotionally taxing but our team does everything they can to make sure they are empowered through it all.
There are not many details that we can release to the public but we are doing everything we can to support these survivors throughout their justice and healing process. Thank you so much for continuing to support us so that we have the opportunity to help survivors of human trafficking and sexual abuse.
Nong Penny (name changed) was a previous victim of child human trafficking. Our team worked hard on her case and we were grateful to see her on the path to restoration. However it did not end there…
We received contact from Nong Penny again, saying she was in trouble. This time the offender was her ex boyfriend. Because they were previously in a relationship, he had several nude images of her. The offender threatened to release nude images of her if she didn’t give him 50,000 baht or have sex with him. When she refused, he forwarded an image of her to another person.
Our team, along with Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) searched the offenders house and found evidence on his cell phone. He was later arrested and in the process of getting charged for distributing child sexual abuse material.
The HUG Team also supported the victim identification of 7 child survivors of human trafficking. We were able to provide support through interviews, transportation, and basic necessities. In order to protect the child victims, we cannot go into detail of this case yet, but we are very thankful for your support to allow our team to be able to assist with providing services to sex trafficking victims. Each donation goes a long way for us and we feel grateful to be able to directly support children all over Thailand.
It has been a very busy couple of months for our team but we are continuing to make a difference in child survivors’ lives as well as continuing to build partnership among government prosecutors and social workers. We’ve learned that working both directly with children in combination with government policy, is the best way to achieve a greater impact.
In January, an offender was arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material and for the sexual exploitation of minors. The offender targeted young children, specifically a 12-year-old Yim* through and online gaming platform. After he befriended Yim* online, he coerced her to send clips of herself to the offender, he proceeded to blackmail Yim* for money. Even after receiving some money, the offender still published the video clip and sent it to Yim’s family and acquaintances. After gathering evidence, law enforcement officers were able to arrest the offender on January 9th. We’re thankful to have been able to help with this case and to be there to reinforce a child-centric approach during the investigation and restoration process. Our team was specifically asked to join the investigation by Yim’s parents and we thank them for their bravery to come forward to ask for help.
Our team was also a part of a nation-wide operation that reached 22 provinces throughout Thailand. This operation lead to the rescue of 7 children and the arrest of 26 offenders. Its cases like this that show the importance of collaboration and cooperation. We feel grateful that we are able to work along side the Royal Thai Police and Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children.
Another recent case involved two suspects who were changed with producing obscene content as well as possession of indecent images of minors. One of the suspects admitted to creating doctored images of his friend and then posting them online for paid members. The account had over 400 paid subscribers. Unfortunately, this crime is not uncommon and it has been a huge problem in the online world. Many of these “subscription accounts” are a way for offenders to make money at the expense of young children.
We also recently were a part of the creation of the Child-Friendly Justice Initiative Team (CJIT) under the Office of Attorney General. We aim to enhance child friendly justice among prosecutors working with child victims of human trafficking, online sexual abuse and other forms of violence against children. It continues to amaze me how much we can accomplish with collaboration, passion, and the desire to fight for the rights of children. Everyone who attended the Child-Friendly Justice Initiative Team webinar knows that it is worth the fight. This is just the beginning, and I cannot wait to see the positive impact we will have on child survivors.
*A pseudonym has been used to protect this survivor's identity.
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