The 2004 Oak Human Rights Fellow was Chanthol Oung, the founder and executive director of the Cambodian women’s Crisis Center. She and her organization worked to help victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and rape, through intervention and protection services, legal assistance, monitoring, community education, and raising awareness through the media. The CWCC has enabled thousands of women and children to leave situations of violence or exploitation through providing shelter, health care, counseling, vocational training, and reintegration with their families. In 2001, her work was recognized through receipt of both the Japanese Human Rights Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership.Chanthol is now living with her family in the United States. She is still a founder and Management adviser of CWCC and she also works as the manager of the Marriage Enrichment and Fatherhood project of the Cambodian Association of America and multiple groups in Cambodian community here in the United States.
Currently, the CWCC is planning to expand its programs and services to other province and countries, like the Kompong Cham province, where female trafficking is occurring all the time. Additionally they would like to expand to Malaysia as well and attempt to end abuses of Cambodian migrant workers and trafficked victims there. CWCC has also conducted a research on trafficking of women to Taiwan and is lobbying both governments to address these issues. CWCC is fund raising to provide a national training to the elected commune counselors on newly adopted domestic violence law to help to create national and local networks of commune counselors to enforce the domestic violence law and provide appropriate intervention and protection for the victims.
The CWCC has also received many awards in the last few years. These include the United Nation of Population Award for promotion of women’s health and dignity, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Germany Award on Human Right, and International Women of Courage Award from the US State Department.
How Can I Help?
Want to learn how you can support the work of Colby’s 2004 Oak Fellow Chanthol Oung in her struggle to gain attention and accountability for her cause?
- View Cambodian Women’s Organizations.
- Get involved with theCambodian Women’s Crisis Center and help women help themselves.
- Learn about the lives of the female youth in Cambodia.
Chanthol at Colby College
Read about Chanthol’s work
- Read about how Oak Fellow Chanthol Oung has worked to make Cambodia a safer place for women.
- Read “Rebuilding Cambodia: one woman at a time” about women’s rights workers in Cambodia.
- Read the Time Magazine article “Cambodia’s Child Sex Crackdown” to learn about changes taking place as a result of work by Chanthol and other activists.
- Read the article “Trafficking’s lasting limbo” about the long term effects of human trafficking.
- Learn the basics about Cambodia.