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TIMEの流れを絶やすな -4-


TIMEではなく先週のNewsweekのカバーストーリーをご紹介します。現代の奴隷制について取り上げましたが、それに関連するものでもあります。カンボジアでSex traffickingの問題に取り組んでいるSomaly Mamさんがどうやら自身の過去を詐称していたというのです。彼女に対しては以前このブログでも取り上げましたが、彼女の財団での動画がほとんど見れなくなってしまっています。

Somaly Mam: The Holy Saint (and Sinner) of Sex Trafficking
By Simon Marks / May 21, 2014 5:49 AM EDT


In 2011, Mam sat down with Sandberg at Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women summit and told the hushed audience what had motivated her to become a crusader against sexual slavery. “I have been sold in the brothel by the man who come and tell me that he’s my grandfather,” she said. “I stayed in the brothel nearly then 10 years. The brothel owner bring us all together, we all sit on the ground, and he tell us we have to do what he ask us to do. But one girl…she refused to do what he asked to do so he take a gun and kill her, so that is the day that I have been escaped from the brothel.”


Lost Innocence
Interviews with Mam’s childhood acquaintances, teachers and local officials in the village where she grew up contradict important, lurid details in her autobiography. Many of the villagers in Thloc Chhroy say they never met or even saw Mam’s cruel “Grandfather,” the rich Chinese merchant who allegedly raped her or the violent soldier she says she was forced to marry.

Orn Hok, a former commune chief, remembers well the day Mam arrived in the village, noting, “Somaly came here with her parents. She is a daughter of Mam Khon and Pen Navy.”

Pen Chhun Heng, now in her 70s, says she is a cousin of Mam’s mother and rejects the notion that Mam was adopted or that she was raised (or kept) by “Grandfather.”

Sam Nareth, a childhood friend of Mam’s, says Mam first attended school in the village in 1981 and remained there until she got her high school diploma. “She finished secondary school in 1987, and Somaly and I went to sit the teachers exam in Kompong Cham together.”


Not even Mam can keep the story straight. In February 2012, while speaking at the White House, she said she was sold into slavery at age 9 or 10 and spent a decade inside a brothel. On The Tyra Banks Show, she said it was four or five years in the brothel. Her book says she was trafficked when she was “about 16 years old.”

Mam’s confusion isn’t limited to her book, or the backstory for some of “her girls.” In 2012, she admitted—after being confronted with some of my early reporting—that she had made false claims in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in which she said eight girls she had rescued from the sex industry were killed by the Cambodian army after a raid on her shelter in 2004.


But those who have worked with Mam in Cambodia say there is a vast difference between the image she puts forward in the media spotlight and the one she shows in Phnom Penh. “[With donors], she’s very polished and very on and very charming…exceedingly charming,” says Candace Blase, who worked as a volunteer psychologist for AFESIP in 2011. “And when people are not there, she can be tyrannical; she’s moody, she’s erratic, she’s entitled.” Blase adds that she saw Mam ordering the girls she looks after to carry out personal chores for her.


Thomas Steinfatt, a professor of statistics at the University of Miami, has done several reports on sex trafficking for the U.N.’s Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking. In a 2008 study, for which he spent months conducting surveys in all corners of Cambodia, he estimated there were no more than 1,058 victims of trafficking in Cambodia and has said the situation has improved markedly since then.

The number of children, both those observed as sex workers and those mentioned by management or by sex workers in the 2008 data, was 127, with 11 of the children verifiably under age 15 and six under age 13. The high-end estimate for the number of children likely involved in sex work in Cambodia in 2008 was 310 children.

In response to a newspaper story about victim stories allegedly fabricated by Mam, Sébastien Marot, the executive director of Friends International, an organization that helps train and educate children in precarious situations, posted a response on the organization’s website: “A large number of organizations get sucked into using children to raise funds: making them talk about the abuse they survived in front of a camera, having their picture in a pitiful situation published for everyone to see. In worst cases, the truth is distorted or the stories invented to attract more compassion and money. The impact on the lives of these children is terrible: If they come from an abusive situation, such a process re-traumatizes them and in any case it stigmatizes them forever.”

このFriends Internationalは真面目に取り組んでいる団体のようですね。記事にあるウエブサイトで掲載されたものは以下です。名指しこそはしていませんが、Pity Charityと批判的に語っています。

THINK! Pity Charity – why it’s actually abusive to children…

This thought-provoking piece comes from the Executive Director of Friends-International, Sebastien Marot.
‘Over the last week two separate shocking stories emerged from Cambodia:
A globally renowned organization was again accused of faking stories used in international TV and other international media to raise funds and awareness about the organization;
A local “orphanage” organized an auction of photos of children and had the children present their own photos while their life-story was made public to the audience in order to increase pity (and sales).
These separate events are a direct consequence of the interconnected actions of the child protection organizations, the media, the donors and the general public; all wanting the best for these children, but instead turning them into victims.

Somaly Mamは批判を受けて財団を辞めることになったそうです。Newsweekのカバーストーリーが出た後の発表なので、これ以上は無理だと判断したのでしょうか。少し不謹慎に聞こえるかもしれませんが、このような難しい状況でのレターの文面は英作文の参考にもなります。

Somaly Mam's Resignation

May 28th, 2014

Dear Supporters,

It has been an incredibly difficult few months for all of us at the Foundation, and for all of our supporters.

In March, the Foundation retained the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP to conduct an independent, third party investigation into allegations concerning the personal history of Somaly Mam and Somana (Long Pros). The Foundation provided Goodwin Procter unfettered access to our information, documents, and staff, and, for the past two months, a team of Goodwin Procter legal professionals based out of Boston, San Francisco, and Hong Kong conducted an extensive investigation.

As a result of Goodwin Procter’s efforts, we have accepted Somaly’s resignation effective immediately. In addition, we are permanently removing Ms. Pros from any affiliation with the organization or our grant partner, but will help her to transition into the next phase of her life. While we are extremely saddened by this news, we remain grateful to Somaly’s work over the past two decades and for helping to build a foundation that has served thousands of women and girls, and has raised critical awareness of the nearly 21 million individuals who are currently enslaved today.

Despite our heartfelt disappointment, the work of the Foundation and our grant partners must and will carry on. We have touched the lives of over 100,000 women and girls. We have treated nearly 6,000 individuals at a free medical clinic in Phnom Penh’s red light district and engaged nearly 6,400 students in anti-trafficking activism.

We look forward to moving past these events and focusing all of our energies on this vital work, ensuring that the hundreds of women and girls that are currently being served in our grant partner AFESIP’s three centers for recovery and rehabilitation, receive the care that they so desperately need, and that we safeguard their identities and privacy to every extent possible.

Our work changes lives and we remain dedicated to it. Over the coming weeks, we will outline a plan that will be made available as to the revised course for the Foundation.

We don't expect this transition to be simple, but we ask that you stand with us in the face of these serious challenges and help us to honor all victims and survivors, and the millions of women and girls who are enslaved across the globe.

In solidarity,

Gina Reiss-Wilchins
Executive Director
Somaly Mam Foundation

Friends Internationalの先のサイトであった言葉です。

It’s an essential move that needs to be led by the general public and donors: say no to sensationalism, look at what is really happening and the complexity of issues involved, be interested and not just emotionally driven… this is a very difficult change in behavior. In many ways the ball is in the donor’s (big and small) court: they should be the ones leading so that organizations do not feel compelled to distort truth to receive funding


Say no to sensationalismとは何か事が起きる度に言われる事ですが、やはりその度に肝に銘じるべきことなんでしょう。