SISHA acts to fight human trafficking, exploitation and human rights abuses, not only through reactive capacity, but through preventative strategies to get to the core of problems
Through his work with the Royal Government of Cambodia, SISHA’s Executive Director Steve Morrish began to identify common themes amongst victims of trafficking and their families. Poverty and lack of education are the overwhelming factors that make women and children more susceptible to exploitation.It is common for women and youth to have little or no understanding of their own legal and human rights, or what constitutes a crime. This involves little, or a total lack of, understanding regarding the crucial issues of violence and exploitation; safe migration and labour conditions; human trafficking and human rights; rape, gender-based violence and sexual assault; and democratic processes or services available to them should they become victims of exploitation.
SISHA’s two-pronged response was to develop and deliver educational resources to these priority at-risk groups, to empower them to keep themselves and their loved ones safe in a volatile environment.
SISHA currently operates three main programs in this area:
SISHA Youth’s Legal Rights Program
Each YLR course educates 30 marginalized youths living in severe poverty who are at high risk of exploitation. The curriculum is designed specifically to fit their unique needs, interests and context.
The program empowers students to make smart decisions based on knowledge and understanding of their fundamental rights, the legal system and the society in which they live.
SISHA Hope Scholarship Award Program
The SISHA Hope Scholarship selects three outstanding students from our YLRP each year and sends them to law school or to study a related university degree. The award covers full educational and related costs and support for the entire duration of studies, and offers the chance of a life-time for some of Cambodia’s most disenfranchised youth.
SISHA Women’s Legal Rights Program
The Women’s Training Course currently targets women living in the Stung Meanchey slums of Phnom Penh.
The program provides information to at-risk-women about areas in which they might feel frustrated or powerless, and educates them about their fundamental legal rights and ways to deal with violations.
The program aims to increase women’s economic, political, legal, and social power, strengthen their access to justice and reduce their vulnerability to crimes such as human trafficking, rape, domestic violence and other forms of exploitation. SISHA believes that raising the status of girls and women is a crucial step in eradicating pervasive forms of human trafficking and exploitation.