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VSU Professor Explores Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia

Spires1Dr. Bob Spires, an assistant professor in the Middle, Secondary, Reading and Deaf Education at the COEHS, spent a month this Summer in Southeast Asia conducting research on human trafficking, education and at-risk youth. Collaborating with two Hong Kong-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Project Share and Liberty Asia, Dr. Spires conducted qualitative research with students and staff at human trafficking prevention and protection organizations in Cambodia and Thailand, as well as a disadvantaged youth program in the New Territories of Hong Kong.
Spires2In Cambodia, Dr. Spires and Liberty Asia’s Xinyi Duan conducted focus groups and student interviews at a newly established trafficking prevention school called the EASEL School. Established by a social worker named Sokleng In, the school was developed to address the issue of impoverished and rural student’s lack of access to schools, as well as the barriers of school fees to student participation in government schools. EASEL school provides education in English, Computer Skills and Life Skills to disadvantaged children in the border region near eastern Thailand. The parents of these children are day-laborers who informally migrate to Thailand daily to work on Thai rice farms.

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