Boom, Child Advocacy Center Director
The director of the Child Advocacy Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, talks about the services her organization—which receives financial and investigative support from the FBI—provides to child victims.
Currently many victims of child sex trafficking enter sex trade in younger age like 13, 14 years old.
Many of them, because of their family situation, many of them don’t realize that they are victims. So, in order for them to take our sides and willing to testify, because in Thailand if there’s no victims, there’s no case. So, we must have the victims to testify against their traffickers.
So in having this place, it allows, you know, for victims they can come and go as they want. We don’t force them.
This place is open during the day. If they need, if they’re hungry, they can come. And I think we’ve been successful that kids have been coming on their own when they’re not in school so they have a place to come.
We want to make sure that in the child interview room, we can make it live interview, where if you, for example, if you, the FBI, would like to observe the interview and ask questions right away, to do it together, they can log in and see the interview live. And then they can ask questions. And these will help reduce, you know, the repetition in, you know, the children being questioned so many times.
The Children’s Advocacy Center was established because we would like to assist the victims through the justice system without too many repetition of services available for them.
When they come here, they can come, they can play music, they can bake, they can do crafting, they can talk to our staff. We also teach children how to protect and save themselves from being abused. And teach them if something happened to them who they can report to.
When they come here there’s police here that would build trust with them. Then they are willing, and there’s a social workers, so they’re willing to work with the victims with the law enforcement. And I think it creates a new view of the justice system when the police are more like child-friendly and victim-focused.
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