• Pasadena resident fights for justice in Thailand

    By Winston Chua

    PASADENA – In just three short weeks Troy D. Anderson willbe taking a trip to Thailand. But this is no ordinary excursion, as Andersonwill be working in Thailand to chip away at the problem of human trafficking inBangkok.

    “There is a definite need forsocial justice,” Anderson said, in describing the climate of Thailand.

    Myanmar and Thailand recentlyimplemented a joint plan of action against human trafficking, as both countriescooperate to repatriate and reintegrate trafficked victims. Thai leader IssaraSomchai and Myanmar’s Maung Oo had a heavy hand in putting the agreementtogether.

    Anderson, 39, is a lawyer with bigvisions to stop the exploitation of women and the poor in the ever popular city.He is so convinced for the immediate need for help there that he has startedhis own company, “Speak Up”, which advocates for the oppressed. Despitenot knowing the Thai language, he will be relocating to Thailand on a much morepermanent basis to lend a hand in stopping human trafficking.

    Migrants often take up dangerousand exploitative work to either escape natural disaster or to find betteremployment opportunities. Prostitution is one such “opportunity.”

    Trafficking sometimes happens when womenare taken from their native country and promised a better life for themselves,possibly as call girls. These situations usually end up in one form of abuse oranother, as organized criminals steal women’s passports and force them into anunwanted life in the commercial sex industry. One of Anderson’s goals ishelping would-be-abused women return to their home country. Anderson developeda heart for the Asian nation when he visited Thailand before entering lawschool at UCLA.

    His law degree will be put to gooduse, as he will represent women who cannot or do not know how to legallyrepresent themselves before embassies or police. He will be helping women,teaching them how to defend themselves and assert their rights. He hopes thatone day he can do things to change the system that enables criminals to abusewomen and children.

    “Some criminals are making alot of nasty money doing this stuff,” Anderson said.

    Anderson also has connectionswithin the Thai government and in the United Nations, though he readily admitsthat his is a small operation. He may also in the future work with Thaiattorneys to assist in criminal cases or prosecutions.

    While Thailand is a beautifulcountry with open arms to the touring public, it is also a country ofcontroversy. Thailand is a hotbed for human trafficking because governmentregulations are rather lenient.

    Anderson spends time in the Statesto fundraise. His organization is made up primarily of volunteers, some of whomhelp in finance or web development.

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