01 December 2010
Leading the fight against human trafficking
RMIT lecturer, Liz Branigan; Nina Vallins; Sotheary Ly; Dr Di Sisley; Stop.Traffick volunteer Ian Jones; and Sonya Barnes, one of the Communication Design students whose work was featured on the night.
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Sotheary Ly, Executive Director of the Healthcare Centre for Children in Cambodia, gave the keynote address at a forum at RMIT University on human trafficking.
Four million people are trafficked - bought and sold against their will - in the world each year, according to the United Nations.
Ms Ly arrived in Melbourne when she was 16, not speaking a word of English. Today, she has three Australian qualifications, including two postgraduate qualifications from RMIT.
She heads the Healthcare Centre for Children, which works to protect the rights of children and women who are victims or at-risk of trafficking, sexual abuse or labour exploitation in Cambodia.
The event was presented by Stop.Traffick, an RMIT student group raising awareness of human trafficking, in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Human Rights Education (ACHRE) at RMIT.
It was supported by RMIT Alumni Relations and included an exhibition related to the topic by third-year design students.
The event was introduced by Professor David Hayward, Dean of the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning.
The panel of experts comprised Ms Ly; Dr Di Sisely, Director of ACHRE; and Nina Vallins, Executive Director of Project Respect.
Guests were able to browse works on the theme of trafficking by Communication Design students.
Sotheary Ly with Raffaela Arena-Cairney, Manager of RMIT Alumni Relations.
Stop.Traffick volunteers sold scarves woven by women employed through the Healthcare Centre for Children in Cambodia.