PROJECT FUTURES is a not for profit organisation run voluntarily by a powerful and passionate network of socially engaged professionals. Their aim is to empower and engage a generation in raising awareness and funds to combat sex trafficking globally.
In 2011 PROJECT FUTURES officially partnered with the Somaly Mam Foundation in building a new volunteer activist program. PROJECT FUTURES global brings together a network of passionate volunteers, activists and young professionals through the partnership and ‘best-practice’ models of SMF’s Young Professionals with the Australian-led PROJECT FUTURES.
Locally, they have partnered with The Salvation Army and Child Wise to work on local anti trafficking projects. What most Australians don’t seem to realise is that trafficking happens here, right under our noses. The hard facts:
- Australia is considered a destination country for women from South East Asia, South Korea, The People’s Republic of China and Eastern Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
- In 1998, Child Wise (ECPAT Australia) established that over 3700 children were known to be working in prostitution throughout Australia, you can only imagine what these numbers look like now.
- In 2009 there were only four convictions of sex traffickers and two of labor traffickers.
- The majority of trafficked people to Australia have tended to enter Australia legally on tourist, student or work visas, but have ended up in situations of exploitation akin to debt bondage or forced labor.
- Common experiences of people trafficked to Australia include; poor working conditions, providing labor without pay, being forced to live in the workplace, sexual abuse, physical and verbal abuse, threats to family members, restricted freedom, confiscation of travel and legal documents.
- To date most trafficking victims have been identified in Sydney or Melbourne but can and does occur Australia wide.
- Since 2004, over 170 suspected victims of trafficking have received support from the Commonwealth Government’s Support Program for Victims of Trafficking. Where does that leave the thousands of other victims?
PROJECT FUTURES was originally inspired by the story of Somaly Mam. Somaly is a former Cambodian victim of sexual slavery who has since saved over 6000 women and children from slavery in South East Asia. Her book is called ‘The Road of Lost Innocence’
You can find out more about PROJECT FUTURES here