Leading Change in Cambodia: Free the Slaves Leads Anti-Slavery Training

June 27, 2023
Free the Slaves (FTS) continues empowering grassroots organizations around the world with its innovative Community Liberation Toolkit (CLT). FTS has expanded its horizons by diving into the core of Southeast Asia with the Chab Dai Coalition in a remarkable stride. 

The alliance brought the transformative methodology of the CLT to ten notable civil society organizations (CSOs) in Cambodia. The training mobilized 14 dynamic leaders from a variety of CSOs by leveraging the power of technology through interactive 90-minute virtual sessions conducted from 29-31 May 2023. 

In the age of digital connectivity, these virtual seminars served as a crucial connection, equipping organizations with an extensive resource of strategies and tactics necessary for educating and mobilizing vulnerable communities. The sessions focused on Module 4 of the CLT, titled “Ensuring Access to Social and Economic Services.” It served as a comprehensive guide to FTS’s core strategy, which consisted of fortifying at-risk communities and integrating FTS philosophies into the very fabric of extant anti-slavery initiatives. 

The training was not a typical lecture series; rather, it was an interactive deep delve into the complexities of the fight against modern slavery. Participants were engaged in analytical case studies and vital group discussions that refined their ability to initiate meaningful dialogues, casting light on the complexities of modern slavery and the necessity of a synchronized response. 

The training included lessons on international and Cambodian national policies against modern slavery, equipping participants with the knowledge necessary to address local challenges. Through simulation exercises depicting the vulnerabilities of victims, participants gained experience implementing FTS’s proactive approach to supporting stakeholders within communities at risk. 

Pich Panha from TPO Cambodia shared, “We are very thankful for the new learning that we acquired during the training. There are ideas that we hear which are new and innovative. We learned a lot from this program and we look forward to learning the other modules.”  

This transformative training has strengthened civil society organizations by equipping them with the skills necessary to provide robust support to communities, survivors, and victims caught in the web of modern slavery. In addition, it boosted participants’ abilities to write strategies that inspire community engagement, propel advocacy work, and foster a united front against slavery. 

Given the diverse interests of the participating organizations, which ranged from conflict resolution to child abuse prevention and shelter management, the training presented an extraordinary opportunity for FTS to consolidate anti-slavery responses across Cambodia, reaching a broad range of stakeholders and vulnerable communities. 

FTS continues to cultivate its relationships with organizations working towards a shared vision of constructing a barrier against slavery, as we move toward a future filled with promise. With such forward-thinking initiatives, we are closer to a world liberated from modern slavery as the fight against modern slavery continues to advance. 

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Modern slavery in Cambodia is not just a statistic; it’s a human crisis that demands immediate and sustained action. In today’s world, the term ‘slavery’ often conjures images of a dark past. However, this grave violation of human rights persists in contemporary society under the guise of ‘modern slavery.’ This encompasses forced labor, human trafficking, forced marriage, and various forms of exploitation. Particularly concerning is the situation in Cambodia, a country grappling with these issues on multiple fronts.

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