Hunter and Andrea had the opportunity to meet Mu Suchoa, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Cambodian parliamentarian and human rights activist at an Artists for Human Rights event co-hosted by Anne Archer and Donna Isham last night. What an incredible evening and what an amazing woman.
If you are not familiar with Mu Sochua’s work, she is considered the most prominent woman in Cambodia’s leading political opposition, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). SRP is leading the fight for access to equal economic opportunities for the people of Cambodia and for the implementation of effective social programs and political participation. For more than 25 years, Sochua has been a visionary and a crusader for human rights. Working diligently in the area of women’s rights, Sochua has also fought to stop human trafficking, child abuse, domestic violence, worker exploitation, corruption and government oppression. There are over 1 million Cambodians affected by companies that have taken their land for industrial crop production. There is immense deforestation and local farmers have little power to stop the continuing injustice. Mu Sochua is working to find markets for local farmers so they can sustain themselves. She is also helping them organize so that they can stand together against powerful international organizations that have been able to act without consequence in Cambodia.
Anne Archer and Donna Isham hosted this event in order to highlight the work that Mu Sochua and others are doing around the world to uphold the basic human values we all find necessary. Unexpectedly, Andrea had the pleasure of running into an old friend from her theater days back in New York, Charles Kiselyak. Charles made a documentary with Mu Suchoa called Red Light, which exposes the world of human trafficking. Narrated by Lucy Liu, Red Light powerfully exposes the global epidemic of child sexploitation. By using footage that had been smuggled out of brothels, the film follows the plight of several current and former child sex slaves. It focuses on the personal stories of young Cambodian victims and two incredible activists working to end the child sex trade, Somaly Mam and Mu Sochua. Somaly Mam is the founder of the Somaly Mam Foundationand, along with Mu Sochua, has been an incredible activist in the fight against the global sex trade. Learn more about the film here
The host of the event, Anne Archer, is the founder of the nonprofit Artists for Human Rights (AFHR). AFHR is focused on promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and invites people from all walks of life to join. AFHR simply requires members to support and affirm the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. AFHR recognizes the ability of artists to have a powerful impact on society and encourages those who stand for the protection of individual freedoms to come together to work for peace and tolerance. Learn more about AFHR .
It was truly a special evening for ASR to meet some amazing people doing crucial work around the world. Thank you to everyone and we look forward to supporting your work in the future.
Although extreme poverty and the lack of law enforcement are mainly to blame for child sex trafficking in Cambodia, I think the Cambodian people’s casual attitudes toward sexual predation also contribute to the problem. Cambodians generally look up to foreigners, especially Westerners, as wealthy and benevolent. It’s unfortunate that some foreigners are in the country to take advantage of children.