In an award certain to spark lots of fevered discussion from all sides, Somaly Mam of AFESIP has just been awarded the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child. From the International Herald Tribune,
The Swedish prize committee said Somaly Mam was honored for her “dangerous struggle” to save girls sold to brothels in Cambodia. She was selected the winner in a vote by 6.6 million children worldwide.
Mam was herself sold as a sex slave when she was a child and in 2006 her 14-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and sold to a brothel, the citation said.
She is now the president of AFESIP, the French acronym for Acting for Women in Distressing Situations, which has helped build safe houses that provide refuge, food, health care and schooling for girls saved from slavery.