Southeast Asia

More Than 900 Hill Tribe People Are Now Thai Citizens—And That’s Just The Beginning

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – Dozens of families waited patiently outside the rural government office, eager to begin the day they’d anticipated for so long: the day they could apply for citizenship in their own country.

The parents, grandparents and children had traveled from small villages in the surrounding mountains—one family even coming by tractor—to meet local officials newly trained on granting them this right. The officials, too, were eager to begin the day. They were finishing a three-day workshop led by IJM Thailand on the laws protecting these undocumented hill tribe people.

Three Convictions In Pampanga Show A Country Serious About Stopping Trafficking

PAMPANGA, THE PHILIPPINES – Two sex trafficking cases ended with convictions today in the Philippines. Both underscore a government serious about stopping this rampant crime.

As one judge wrote in her decision: “While the government continues to gather strength to build a strong foundation against trafficking, let this Decision be its voice saying: stop trafficking in persons now.”

Retired Cambodian Colonel Found Guilty for Abusing Children Living in Poverty

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – In one of our biggest cases of the year, a retired colonel from Cambodia’s army was convicted for raping three girls between 9 and 14 years old. The conviction brought closure to the children and their families more than four years after the horrific abuse, but it also reveals a brand new future for a community that once lived in utter terror of this powerful man.

A Retired Military Colonel Abuses His Power