Patima Tungpuchayakul has emerged as the key person behind attempts to end slavery at sea in South-East Asia.
Patima founded the Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN) in Thailand in 2004 with Sompong Srakaew. Her interest in human rights began in 1996 after graduation from Mahasarakham University, when she realized that the owners of factories near her home north of Bangkok were abusing migrant workers, especially women and children. LPN rescued about 3000 captive and stranded fishermen from isolated Indonesian islands in 2014.
In more than two decades as an activist, Patima has deeply involved to support and protect Thais and migrants, created awareness of chronic rights breaches and worked with reformers to build understanding and improve the lives of workers and the laws governing their employment.
She remains a dedicated innovator and recognizes that much more reform work still needs to be done in the region, on land and sea.