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Contact: Yvon Nguyen – Creator/Event Organizer Phone: (315) 885-1866
OPM Restaurant & Lounge, Huntington Beach, November 7, 2015
While human trafficking is not a new problem, it is a fairly new topic in the Asian American community. According to Yvon Nguyen, creator of the Season of Change Social and Board Member of the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, this is mostly due to the lack of opportunity and a cultural emphasis on the importance of working hard and self-sacrifice for the benefit of one’s family. It’s the “at all costs” mentality.
While there are labor laws in place to avoid employee mistreatments, punish abusive employers, and deter illegal hiring practices, the thinking remains to endure for the sake of the family. Therefore, even deplorable working conditions, unfair wages, or labor trafficking can be perceived as the norms because they have been culturally acceptable for so long. With the second generation of Asian American professionals and entrepreneurs gathering to the forefront of the community, there is a recent progressive shift in recognizing what is not acceptable.
The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, which is comprised of over 80 faith-based and community-based organizations and local law enforcement, recently shared that there are still many barriers to overcome. “The human trafficking victims of Asian descent are not as open to seek help and speak up against their predators as victims of other ethnicities,” said Sgt Juan Reveles of the Anaheim Police Department. He also stated that within the years to come, there will be increased focus and scrutiny on potential hot spots for trafficked victims such as massage parlors in various cities that are predominantly Asian-owned and operated.
“This is the first awareness event held relating to this social issue in our community. My goal for the event is to start an open dialogue discussing the danger and exploitative nature of human trafficking and reveal its presence in Orange County. Once their existence is acknowledged, I’m confident the community will rally behind the task force against the practice of selling people for profit,” said Yvon Nguyen. The social event is also to raise funds for Community Service Programs, a 501 c(3), to support them in their commendable work of providing aid and advocacy to rescued victims. It is much anticipated to see how many will turn out to learn more and are ready to influence change.