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The Activist :

Editor's Note: This story is taken from the GOOD10 Ocean's Issue. You can download and read the entire digital magazine issue for free here.



Labor activist Patima Tungpuchayakul waves to me over video chat from Thailand, but by the end of an exhausting day her ever-bright smile quickly fades. She looks down at her cell phone, clearly concerned that another heinous crime might slip through the cracks without her tireless vigilance. Her translator recounts the details of Patima's intensely demanding job. For a year now, she's helped a 16-year-old girl seek justice after she was abused, sexually assaulted and raped at the hands of her father since she was eleven. Her phone buzzes with the news the offender was arrested and placed into custody. A cloud of depression lifts from her face. She exhales, grinning again. In this split second, she knows this girl's life will be changed forever.

The girl Patima helped rescue came to Labour Protection Network (LPN), an advocacy organization Patima co-founded in 2004 with her husband Sompong Srakaew, which helps mistreated children and enslaved workers in Southeast Asia. Patima provided her teen client with safe refuge and rehabilitation from her father's sexual abuse, as well as legal advice and counseling. "He deserves to be in prison," Patima says. "I'm here to support the girl, talk to her attorney and help anyway I can. I want all women and men to feel protected and safe."

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