Empowering survivors as part of the solution

Stay Updated

Somaly Mam's Resignation

Somaly Mam's Resignation

May 28th, 2014

Dear Supporters,

It has been an incredibly difficult few months for all of us at the Foundation, and for all of our supporters.

In March, the Foundation retained the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP to conduct an independent, third party investigation into allegations concerning the personal history of Somaly Mam and Somana (Long Pros). The Foundation provided Goodwin Procter unfettered access to our information, documents, and staff, and, for the past two months, a team of Goodwin Procter legal professionals based out of Boston, San Francisco, and Hong Kong conducted an extensive investigation. 

As a result of Goodwin Procter’s efforts, we have accepted Somaly’s resignation effective immediately. In addition, we are permanently removing Ms. Pros from any affiliation with the organization or our grant partner, but will help her to transition into the next phase of her life.  While we are extremely saddened by this news, we remain grateful to Somaly’s work over the past two decades and for helping to build a foundation that has served thousands of women and girls, and has raised critical awareness of the nearly 21 million individuals who are currently enslaved today.

Despite our heartfelt disappointment, the work of the Foundation and our grant partners must and will carry on. We have touched the lives of over 100,000 women and girls. We have treated nearly 6,000 individuals at a free medical clinic in Phnom Penh’s red light district and engaged nearly 6,400 students in anti-trafficking activism. 

We look forward to moving past these events and focusing all of our energies on this vital work, ensuring that the hundreds of women and girls that are currently being served in our grant partner AFESIP’s three centers for recovery and rehabilitation, receive the care that they so desperately need, and that we safeguard their identities and privacy to every extent possible.

Our work changes lives and we remain dedicated to it.  Over the coming weeks, we will outline a plan that will be made available as to the revised course for the Foundation.

We don't expect this transition to be simple, but we ask that you stand with us in the face of these serious challenges and help us to honor all victims and survivors, and the millions of women and girls who are enslaved across the globe.

In solidarity,

Gina Reiss-Wilchins
Executive Director
Somaly Mam Foundation