LPN is a network
of activists, social
workers and rescued
slaves fighting to end human rights abuse.
Photo by: JJ Rose, Al Jazeera
"My goal is to live to help others"
Ms. Patima Tungpuchayakul has emerged as the key leader in ending slavery at sea in Southeast Asia. Her rescue work was the subject of a 2019 award-winning documentary film Ghost Fleet, and earned her a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. After surviving her own bout with cancer at age 22, she became an activist and has dedicated her life to helping others. Over two decades, Patima has built awareness of human rights abuse and protected migrant workers across 10 nations in the region.
In 2004, she co-founded the Labour Protection Network (LPN) along with her husband Sompong Srakaew. They have assisted over 5,000 Thai and migrant workers to date. Respected for her courage and determination, Patima led LPN’s efforts to rescue nearly 2,000 captive and stranded fishermen from isolated Indonesian islands in 2014. The Associated Press supported the rescue and won a Pulitzer Prize for its innovative coverage.
Patima remains a dedicated innovator focused on the reform work that still needs to be done on both land and sea.
"This is my life's work"
Sompong Srakaew began working on migrant worker issues after graduating with a degree in social work in the 1990’s. He founded LPN in 2004 to pursue justice for migrant workers in Thailand. That same year he coordinated with law enforcement to raid a shrimp processing plant. In that raid, they liberated 66 Burmese workers who were trapped in forced labor. Similarly, he advocated on behalf of a group of migrant workers who had been horribly mistreated, when 39 of their 99 crew members had starved to death at sea.
His research and advocacy directly led to the strengthening of the Thai laws against human trafficking. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking Act strengthened the provisions of the penal code that criminalize human trafficking. He was given a Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award in 2008 in recognition of his efforts to combat modern-day slavery.
Sompong continues to advise policy makers, NGOs and fishing businesses on how they may improve the rights and experience of migrant workers. He believes effective coordination between networks is the key to long term success.
Photo by: Visarut Sankham/Realframe
2018 Jairo Mora Sandoval Award The Society for Conservation Biology
2018 Seafood Champion SeaWeb A Project of the Ocean Foundation
2017 Nominee Nobel Peace Prize
2016 Pulitzer Prize feature on her work Seafood from Slaves (AP)
2016 Honorable Mention Human Rights Watch Asia
Photo by: JJ Rose, Al Jazeera
If you are moved by these stories, please consider donating to LPN today. Your support has the power to transform lives and prevent human tragedy. All donations directly fund LPN's raids & rescue, trafficking-prevention and rights advocacy work.
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