Diep N. Vuong, Co-Founder and President of Pacific Links Foundation, has been named by international citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners as the recipient of its Global Citizen Award® for 2018. The Global Citizen Awards gala dinner took place at the Mina A’Salam Hotel in Dubai, marking the conclusion of the firm’s 12th annual Global Residence and Citizenship Conference.
Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says, “The Global Citizen Award® is granted each year to an inspiring individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the global community. Diep’s commitment to fighting the scourge of human trafficking, her uncompromising advocacy for the fundamental right not to be submitted to slavery, servitude, forced labor, or bonded labor, and her visionary and transformational holistic approach to preventing trafficking, makes her a worthy recipient of this annual award.”
Human trafficking is a USD 150 billion per year industry that affects over 40 million women, children, and men. While it is very much a global issue, the chance of becoming enslaved in Asia Pacific is twice as high as in a developed country. Vietnam in particular is a major source country for various forms of trafficking.
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.
Upon receiving the award, Vuong thanked Henley & Partners for its recognition of her work. “Human trafficking is the major issue of our time, representing the ugly side of globalization. The more we recognize the painful realities of our world, the more effective we can be in addressing and correcting them. Let us work together to turn the tide.”
Previous recipients of the award include Switzerland-based Monique Morrow, President and Co-Founder of The Humanized Internet, which uses new technologies to defend the rights of vulnerable people; South African humanitarian Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, Founder of Africa’s largest disaster relief organization, the Gift of the Givers Foundation; and German entrepreneur Harald Höppner, Founder of refugee aid project Sea Watch.