Husband and Wife Abolitionists Talk Human Slavery Saturday in Anaheim

Two veterans of the worldwide movement to end human trafficking will speak in Anaheim Saturday.

Matt Friedman, the former regional project manager with the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) in Asia, and his wife Sylvia Yu, a Hong Kong-based Canadian journalist who was bestowed with the prestigious 2013 International Human Rights Press Award, have a project called Captive Daughters that focuses solely on ending the sexual bondage of women and children.

They will speak during the 2 p.m. program at Anaheim’s Unitarian Universalist Church, which offers this pitch:

One minute it might be a 15-year-old girl forced into prostitution, or a young boy forced onto a fishing boat to work 18 hours a day for years without coming to port. To make sense of this crime against humanity, Matt and Sylvia Friedman will offer a compressive update on the state-of-the-art of human slavery. Matt and Sylvia’s talk will explore the changing human trafficking paradigm; the relationship between human trafficking and slavery; global trends and patterns; new, emerging responses; evolving funding trends; what is working/not working; the role of the private sector; and what is really needed to win the fight. The presentation will offer a glimpse behind the curtain of this terrible human rights abuse–one that is much closer to home than we might expect.

Beginning in June 1991, Friedman worked as an international counter-trafficking activist, fund-raiser, program designer, evaluator and manager. He has designed and managed both country and regional counter-trafficking programs (South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh and Nepal), helped to establish a counter-trafficking regional training center, and participated in resource mobilization and production of two award-winning films on the subject. In addition, he has participated and presented at many of the major counter trafficking conferences in both South and Southeast Asia, facilitated and offered training support within numerous counter-trafficking workshops and training programs, and helped to develop a human trafficking paradigm that offers conceptual clarity to technical staff working in the sector. He has also published an array of articles, manuals, books and periodic papers on the subject. He left UNIAP in 2012 to become CEO of The Mekong Club, an organization made up of Hong Kong-based private sector business leaders who have joined forces to help fight human trafficking in Asia.

Friedman is a TV anchor, documentary producer, book author and adviser to philanthropists. Her International Human Rights Press Award was for her series on human trafficking and slavery in China, Hong Kong and Thailand. Yua has managed and directed more than $9 million (U.S.) to humanitarian projects since 2005 and is said to have impacted at the very least more than 1 million people.

The UU Church is at 511 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim. Phone 206.739.2443 for more information.

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