Sister Seli Thomas, SMI, from India; Sister Patricia Ebegbulem, SSL, from Nigeria; and Sister Francoise Jiranonda, SPC, from Thailand, experts and strong advocates in the fight against slavery have been recognized for their fight against human trafficking during a solemn ceremony held on October 31st, 2023 in London at the inaugural Sisters Anti-Trafficking Awards.
Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP and Sir Mo Farah drew global attention for their exceptional contribution and services to the anti-trafficking movement. Emceed by broadcaster, journalist and writer, Adrian Chiles, the event honored three sisters, who have demonstrated courage, creativity, collaboration and achievement in the protection of their communities from human trafficking:
- Sr Seli Thomas SMI from India,
- Sr Patricia Ebegbulem SSL from Nigeria and
- Sr Francoise Jiranonda SPC from Thailand
All three sisters are highly-experienced, accomplished anti-slavery advocates.
Sr Patricia Ebegbulem SSL from Nigeria won the Human Dignity Award, for lifetime achievement in addressing exploitation.
Sr Patricia’s contribution includes establishing and running a shelter for victims of human trafficking, organising support services for returning survivors of sex trafficking. She runs mass awareness programmes across high-risk rural areas and schools, and is a national leader on the issue of trafficking.
Sr Seli Thomas SMI from India won the Common Good Award, for courage and creativity in addressing exploitation.
Sr Seli aims to prevent young people being exploited by reaching out to the children of the brothel district, as well as running awareness camps and training women. She provides free legal aid, and conducts seminars and workshops for the villages, school teachers, and students on safe migration and human trafficking. She has helped rescue exploited girls and prosecute traffickers.
Sr Francoise Jiranonda SPC from Thailand won the Servant Leadership Award, for excellence in network building.
Sr Francoise has opened two schools, which protect vulnerable young Thai women from sex trade. Sr Francoise’s operations teach young women vocational skills for free after high school, and raise awareness. She was the Director of Talitha Kum Thailand, who were recognised by the Thai Government for their prevention and advocacy work.