Diep N. Vuong, Co-Founder and President of Pacific Links Foundation, was named as the recipient of the 2018 Global Citizen Award in recognition of her courageous, decades-long international campaigning for the rights of those enslaved by human trafficking, as well as her grassroots work in protecting those rescued from such enslavement.
Vuong’s commitment to this cause is born out of her own harrowing experience fleeing Vietnam with her brother and father as a young teenager. It took 17 years for her family to be reunited in the US. As a former refugee and stateless person who went on to graduate from Harvard University, Vuong has dedicated her life to helping those most affected by global inequality and its pernicious effects.
Under Vuong’s leadership, the Pacific Links Foundation has grown into one of the leading organizations in Southeast Asia working to prevent the trafficking of men, women and youths within and out of Vietnam. The Foundation runs a comprehensive range of effective counter-trafficking initiatives to include education for at-risk women, youth leadership and empowerment training, and the Factory Awareness to Counter Trafficking (FACT) campaign, which works with multinational corporations to reduce forced labor and trafficking risks within their supply chain.
Protective measures focus on the reintegration, rehabilitation, and upskilling of trafficking. Vuong and her team tirelessly serve and protect communities in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, along the northern, central, and southern borders of the country, and in industrial zones, providing vocational and educational opportunities, safe housing, and healthcare services to at-risk youth and trafficking survivors.