A Glimpse of Patak Village

Here is a three part mini documentary about the founder of DEPDC, Sompop Jantraka, and Patak Village where I work.  The series aired on PBS several years ago and was narrated by Robert Redford.  It will give you a glimpse into the problems of human trafficking in this region, the limited options of Burmese migrants, and a view of what my life looks like here.  You will hear Sompop’s views and see the kinds of children we serve and work with daily.  Mr. Jantraka is known as “Father Sompop” at DEPDC and rightfully so.  A humble man who has been nominated for four Nobel Peace Prizes, he embodies true leadership through a lifelong dedication to the prevention and abolition of human trafficking.

Coming to Northern Thailand was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I am grateful to be here, thrilled to be a part of the DEPDC team, and proud to be empowering at-risk children. Sometimes I have to pinch myself!


2 thoughts on “A Glimpse of Patak Village

  1. This is a great documentary to show us what is really going on in Thailand. Powerful and poignant. Stirs up much anger inside of me.

    1. The problems are deep here. Cultural, political, economical. Thailand, unlike other countries where humans are trafficked, really cultivates sex as business, and it has for a long time. How can the national dogma be changed to view girls as humans not commodities? One of the ways to radically deter this is to make sex expensive so men can’t afford it. The Thai police purchase sex from slaves too so they are not the answer. Myanmar is so politically unstable that the migrant issues won’t be solved anytime soon which further perpetuates slavery because the Burmese have little options. Men are victims too into labor trafficking. I’ve heard horror stories of migrants forced to work long hours on fishing boats only to be shot dead once the profits have been made. We need international pressure, access to education, vocational training, and prosecution. The traffickers are wealthy and their criminal networks are large. How can we take them down? Thankfully there are NGOs like DEPDC working throughout SE Asia preventing human trafficking before it starts. But what about those who are imprisoned in it now? We need major rescue efforts and something in place to guarantee that individuals have other options so they won’t return to sex work. The issue of human trafficking is complicated and many profit from it including police and immigration officials. Every bit of this has to change if there is going to be a permanent shift.

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