|EmancipAsia Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee registered in Singapore in March 2012 (Registration number 201205064M). Although registered as a company, our activities are not-for-profit, and our financial records are available for scrutiny to major donors. EmancipAsia is a volunteer run organization, led by our founder Ms Sylvia Lee.
Everybody is born free, to live free.
Our mission is to combat human trafficking by raising awareness, advocating change and empowering communities, businesses and individuals to take action to end this horrific crime against humanity. While human trafficking is a global problem, our region of focus is the Asia-Pacific, with our base operations in Singapore.Our mission is in line with the Singapore government's national plan to fight human trafficking both in Singapore and the region. An inter-agency task force was formed in 2011 to combat what has been described as “a threat to Singapore's security as well as its economic and social fabric”. The national plan has a four-pronged approach, namely, “prevent, prosecute, protect and partnership.” Raising awareness is a preventive measure.
Our name comes from the combination of the words ‘emancipate’ and ‘Asia’. The definition of ‘emancipate’ is to free from restraint, control or the power of another.
Sylvia Lee started her career as a chemical engineer at Shell where she gained experience in refinery operations, engineering design, product quality, economics and optimization, planning, strategy, investments, talent management, strategic and operational HR. In 2008, Sylvia left the corporate world as Head of HR, CapitaLand Limited to pursue personal interests. Sylvia is a Board Member of Jurong Health Services and National University Health System. She is also a Director of ACTSYS Process Management Consultants Pte Ltd., a Board Member of Align HR Consulting, and the Co-founder and Director of Lotus Culture Ltd., a non-profit organisation whose mission is to help to rebuild lives of survivors of human trafficking and sexual slavery in Cambodia.
Despite these efforts, Sylvia realized that she was merely helping to alleviate the symptoms of this global problem, and not the root cause. Some of the most effective efforts against human trafficking include regulatory and legal action. However this has not been enough, and far from lessening, the problem of human trafficking is greater than even before. In 2012, she set up EmancipAsia Ltd., a non-profit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness about human trafficking and to empower individuals, communities and businesses to take action to combat this heinous crime against humanity. Sylvia wants to apply her corporate skills and experiences in the non-profit sector. What gets her going is her favourite quote from Sir Winston Churchill, "Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm." Sylvia has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London. She is married with two children.
EmancipAsia relies on a passionate team of volunteers. They are:
Kay is a leading US photographer with over 25 years of experience in commercial and fine art photography. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and recipient of a Fulbright grant to India, she became hooked on photography during an assignment for the Peace Corps in the Sahel region of Africa. Self-taught, she considers her career in photography as 'a process of learning how to see'. Kay's assignments and interests have taken her all over the world. She has lived in India, Spain and France and photographed everything from ship-building in Maine to ship-breaking in Pakistan, chip-making at Intel to gem-mining in Sri Lanka, long-distance trucking in the Middle East and women's development projects in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Sudan. It is through the course of her work that Kay realised the important need to raise awareness of the global crime of human trafficking. In 2010, Kay founded Artworks for Freedom, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to harness the power of Art in the global fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.
Soh Sue Ping
Sue Ping graduated from Nanyang Technological University in 2012. An accountant by training, Sue Ping wants to volunteer and apply what she has learned at school in the non-profit sector. She feels that sex trafficking is an obscure social injustice which more people need to care about. She is a firm believer of EmancipAsia's mission and that "no single person can do much, but together, we can."
Ms. Aurelie Dellac
Aurelie is a European-qualified lawyer with work experience in international law firms and multinational companies in France, Belgium and Singapore. She began her career in Europe in 2006 prior to relocating to Singapore at the end of 2011. Aurelie focuses her practice on assisting companies in competition law and consumer protection issues, on both advisory and litigation levels. She was looking for ways to use her legal and interpersonal skills outside of the corporate world to give back to the community, when she heard about EmancipAsia in 2013. Upon meeting Sylvia Lee, she immediately decided to volunteer and raise the voices of victims of human trafficking, with the aim of making a real difference.
Ms. Zainoridah Ishak
Zaino works as an Admin Executive in an MNC. Part of her job involves organising events either for company conferences or sports events. She loves to travel and to meet people from all walks of life. Through her travels in Asia, she learnt about modern day slavery and human trafficking. She learnt that many beggars on the streets of Asian countries, especially children are controlled by exploiters who take advantage of them. Through EmancipAsia, she hopes she could help to make a difference. Zaino commented, “Whilst there is no way we can stop human trafficking from happening, the least we can do is try to lessen it by creating awareness to people.”
Ms. Tina Lee
Tina Lee is a marketing and communications specialist from New Zealand with a huge passion for the not for profit sector with particular interest in human rights. Back home, Tina worked for NZ's largest children's charity for 6 years and in 2010 she was invited over to Singapore to guest judge the final year Murdoch University students marketing communications projects for various not for profit organisations in Singapore.
Tina is excited about being part of the EmancipAsia team and hopes to use her skills to help educate and raise awareness of human trafficking and slavery in Singapore.
Ms. Padma Jairam
'Positive change starts from within'. Padma believes in this wholeheartedly. It is what propelled her decision up to this point in her life and continues to guide her choices. It is what made her switch from law to teaching to counselling. Padma has always been drawn to serve the most marginalized and misunderstood communities. She considers herself blessed to have had the opportunity to do that as a teacher and during the course of her counsellor training. She learnt the most valuable lessons in life from the ones who show true courage and grace in how they face their daily challenges - her beloved students and the special women at PACE (Providing Alternatives Counseling and Education), a non-profit organization that supports survival sex workers in Vancouver, Canada. Inspired by these special individuals, Padma considers it her calling to be part of EmancipAsia and continues to hope and advocate for the positive change in all she does.
Mr. Ramesh Narasimhan
Ramesh is a Finance Professional, a Chartered Accountant, with over 16 years of experience in multinational organisations including ANZ Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. He is from India, but has been living in Singapore for the last 6 years. He is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction. He loves writing too and is soon to launch his own blog. Ramesh likes to keep fit through regular Sports and Yoga. Cricket is his favourite sport followed by Tennis and Badminton. Music is one of his passions and he is a singer himself.
He lives with his wife, Gitanjali and 4-1/2 year old daughter, Maanya. He has always been supporting the needy in the society by making active contributions to orphanages, old age homes and other charitable organisations. He believes it is his duty as a human being. He admires the work done by EmancipAsia and is proud to be associated with it for volunteer work.
Mr. Aaron Wee
Aaron Wee is a policy analyst and strategic planner for the Singapore government. He was previously a journalist and public policy researcher.
(As at May 2013)
EmancipAsia Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee registered in Singapore. Its registration number is 201205064M.
Its registered address is "108 Cairnhill Road, Singapore 229698".