Trafficking warning in Asia as coronavirus pummels economies

Before lockdowns, curfews, and safe distancing, Thodsapone Kitta would go door to door, visiting low-income families in Thailand’s northern Nan province, a poor, mountainous region home to hill tribes and rural farmers where people are vulnerable to trafficking.

For Thodsapone, a member of The Freedom Story, an organisation working to curb child trafficking, the best way to combat exploitation is through preventive practice: offering assistance to vulnerable children through education, emotional support, teaching life skills and, most importantly, mentorship.

As the son of rural corn farmers, Thodsapone had little such support. Despite the odds, he was the first in his village to go to university. Preferring not to go into detail, he tells of working his way through school in the northern city of Chiang Rai, becoming even more determined to pursue a career in social work.

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Caleb Quinley