More on Somaly Mam – what others say

This person deserves another forum.  

This is a follow up to an earlier story –

– –  you can see HERE

Remember, my opinion is that, while as far as I know Ms Somaly Mam did good work.  It was her influence over the media and important celebrities which did massive damage by throwing this issue completely out of balance compared to both other issues and also how the rest of the world has come to understand American’s involvement.

But maybe I was wrong – wrong in assuming that the work Ms Somaly Mam did was good.  Maybe her only success was as a media glutton and not a real helper at all.

I found this as a comment below in the Newsweek Magazine story on line and it deserves to be repeated here:  

There are so many of us in the anti-trafficking community who have been waiting for this day. Finally some truth comes out, so thank you Newsweek and Simon Marks. Does it matter if you lie to the public to get donor funds? Um, yes. Does it matter if you lie in order to do good? Yes, yes it does. It degrades every person who has given their lives to help others without lying and it degrades the public to treat them like morons who need sad stories to be moved to help those in need.

And there is little or no proof Somaly does good with the children in her care. I have seen her work and it’s abysmal by all standards and her exploitation of children in media and with donors is disgusting. It also violates the UN Declaration of the Rights of a Child, something everyone should care about. Not to mention the continuation of corruption in Cambodian society she is propagating by paying families to use their children to get money for herself. (Sounds a little like trafficking one might say).

Somaly Mam degrades the entire anti-trafficking movement with her lies, misuse of funds and poor care of survivors. With the money her organization brings in she should run the best aftercare in the world. Sadly, it’s not even average. I would urge her new executive team to see other more highly regarded projects in Cambodia to understand what is lacking. I would recommend you listen to your former staff, fellows and interns to really know what happens in Somaly’s projects. They know, they have tried to speak out and have not been heard. You owe that to the children the public has charged you with overseeing through their donations.

Your investigation into her story is great, but you really need to investigate her work in Cambodia that is impacting real people, with real needs. She clearly does not understand or value truth, so you can be sure what she says about numbers of survivors served, and her involvement in rescues and rehabilitation is not true as well. Thank you to Candace for leading the charge of honesty and accountability for so long.

Now, the question is – will anyone care? I really, really hope so.

1 Comment

  1. Very good points here. When suffering becomes a business, it’s unlikely to be diminished.

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