The Asia Foundation and The Lotus Circle Honor Mr. Chong-Moon Lee at Annual Lotus Leadership Awards Luncheon

  The Asia Foundation and The Lotus Circle Honor Mr. Chong-Moon Lee at Annual
  Lotus Leadership Awards Luncheon

 Award-winning ABC News veteran Lynn Sherr to interview U.S. Ambassador Luis
CdeBaca, Director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat
                            Trafficking in Persons

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- June 6, 2013

Today, The Asia Foundation and The Lotus Circle, a community of individuals
working with The Asia Foundation to empower women and girls in Asia, honor
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Mr. Chong-Moon Lee at the third annual Lotus
Leadership Awards in New York City. Mr. Lee, a native of Korea, has funded a
multi-year, multi-country initiative to combat the trafficking of women and
girls in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, and will receive a Lotus Leadership
Award for his contributions to the health and well-being of women and girls in
Asia. Luncheon co-chairs Masako Shinn, a trustee of The Asia Foundation; and
Ida Liu,managing director and head of North America Asian Clients Group at
Citi Private Bank, will make opening remarks. The Asia Foundation, with its
unparalleled networks of local Asian government ministries and local Asian
NGOs, is a recognized pioneer in the fight against human trafficking and
forced labor.

To raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking, Lynn Sherr, who has
reported on women’s issues for thirty years as an ABC News correspondent, will
interview U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Director of the U.S. State
Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons as part of a
panel discussion.

“Mr. Lee is committed to improving the lives of women and girls in Asia,” said
Carol Yost, senior director of the Women’s Empowerment Program at The Asia
Foundation. In 2012, Mr. Lee and The Asia Foundation embarked together on an
effort to address the issue of Cambodian and Laotian women and girls who
annually migrate for income but are lured into terrible situations by false
promises of jobs or marriage, and then forced into prostitution or labor
exploitation. Pilot projects featuring a public awareness campaign and
intensive vocational training scholarships to survivors of human trafficking
and those at risk will now be expanded upon, along with a new initiative in
Myanmar. Yost continued: “We are grateful to Mr. Lee for his generous support
and his partnership to give vulnerable women the chance for a better life. He
and the members of The Lotus Circle make it possible for us to reach girls and
women in Asia to ‘Tell Her She Can.’”

The Honorable Sapana Pradhan Malla, a lawyer, advocate of Nepal’s Supreme
Court, and leading women's rights activist, will also receive a Lotus
Leadership Award for her contributions to the protection of women and girls.
Ms. Malla is a former member of the Nepalese Constituent Assembly and helped
pass the country’s landmark Human Trafficking Act, now a model for the region.

In Nepal, nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line and the
unemployment rate stands at a staggering 46 percent. Labor migration has
become an economic necessity for women, but the risk of exploitation and
trafficking is high. The Asia Foundation recently completed a research project
to understand the decisions and routes South Asian women migrants choose and
how to promote more informed and safer migration, “Identifying Gaps and
Challenges of Existing Policies and Practices that Influence the Process of
Labour Migration in Nepal and Bangladesh.”

Said Yost: “Ms. Malla is a long-time Asia Foundation partner and a catalyst
for path-breaking progress on women’s rights and protections. She typifies the
Foundation’s history, since the 1950s, of working side by side with local
partners to accelerate progress on women’s full participation in social,
economic, and political life.”

The Lotus Leadership Awards Luncheon was created by a group of committed
philanthropists who share The Asia Foundation’s goal of helping women and
girls in Asia reach their full potential and “Tell Her She Can.” Proceeds will
be used to fund cutting-edge projects to empower disadvantaged women and girls
in the region.

Chevron and The Estee Lauder Companies are premier luncheon sponsors. Vista
Equity Partners, Citi Private Bank, and Kirkland and Ellis are also generous
sponsors.

Human Trafficking is a priority issue for The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation brings unique strengths to combating human trafficking by
directly addressing the governance issues that surround the problem, and by
promoting multi-faceted, integrated approaches to respond to it. Asia
Foundation programs empower the vulnerable to better protect themselves, both
with safe migration and legal rights education, and through interventions to
improve their economic opportunities. In Cambodia, the Foundation was
instrumental in the adoption of first-ever national minimum standards of care
for the treatment of victims, and the establishment of anti-trafficking
training for judges, police, and front-line social service providers; local
Foundation staff also launched a national prevention and awareness campaign
using positive images based on Khmer values to reduce societal acceptance of
trafficking and prostitution.

The Asia Foundation and Myanmar

The Asia Foundation announced recently that it has reestablished a resident
office in Myanmar. The Foundation has worked with virtually every Asian
country that has undergone a democratic transition and is well positioned to
make an important contribution.

Read In Asia, The Asia Foundation’s noted blog, for interviews with Nandita
Baruah of The Asia Foundation on the urgency to combat human trafficking and
forced labor in Nepal and with Lotus Founding Member and Advisor Masako Shinn,
who blogs on her passion for The Lotus Circle.

Learn more and follow updates on Facebook, on Twitter at: @Asia_Foundation,
and on Instagram at: @theasiafoundation

Watch Lotus Circle 2013 and Preventing Human Trafficking in Asia:Chong-Moon
Lee andSapana Pradhan-Malla, online films created by The Asia Foundation.

About The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization
committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by
six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address
critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law,
economic development, women's empowerment, environment, and regional
cooperation. In addition, our Books for Asia and professional exchange
programs are among the ways we encourage Asia's continued development as a
peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world. Read more.

Note:

High-resolution images of luncheon available.

Contact:

The Asia Foundation
Katie Caughman, 650-296-9440
kcaughman@asiafound.org
Brent Jones, 917-280-6217
bjones@asiafound.org
 
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