Dr. Saisuree Chutikul
Human Rights Award, 2003
Saisuree Chutikul is one of the world’s leading voices in the fight against human trafficking. She has worked at the highest levels as a legislator and government official to create innovative models to bring government and NGO’ s together to stop the modern day slavery that afflicts her country. As Cabinet minister in Thailand (1991-1992), Dr. Chutikul revised Thai law to assist minors and to create stricter penalties against proprietors, pimps, and parents who send children into prostitution. As a Senator (1996-2000) Dr. Chutikul worked with the Thai police to set up units for protection of women and children.
A longtime member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (1989-2000), Dr. Chutikul was an untiring advocate for girls at risk for prostitution and forced labor. She was instrumental in developing the Thai National Committee on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children established in 1994 and has been a leader in launching a national plan to combat human trafficking, including the recovery and reintegration of women into society; the repatriation of foreigners lured into traffickers’ web; and the prosecution of criminal networks.
In her own country, Dr. Chutikul has organized trafficking training courses for medical personnel, social workers, police officers, and immigration officers. She has crossed the border to work with the Cambodian government to develop a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to combat trafficking. She was elected Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Dr. Chutikul serves on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations supporting women and children including World Vision.