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EmancipAsia Ltd. is a Charity registered in Singapore in March 2012 (Registration number 201205064M). 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 National University Health System. She is also a Director of ACTSYS Process Management Consultants Pte Ltd., a Board Member of Align HR Consulting, Hagar Singapore, 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 much 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.

Core Team
EmancipAsia relies on a passionate team of volunteers. They are:

Kay Chernush
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. 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. Meghna Basu
Meghna is a recent graduate of the United World College of South East Asia, and is currently studying as part of the inaugural batch of students at Yale-NUS College. She spent her high school years raising money for the Somaly Mam Foundation in Cambodia, and is really excited to continue her work against Human Trafficking with Emancipasia. She strongly believes in the importance of youth in bringing about change, and hopes to use her position as a student to motivate as many members of her generation as she can to join the Anti-Human-Trafficking Cause.

Mr. Matthew de Bakker
Matthew is a communications specialist working at a global communications agency. Originally of Dutch and Singaporean descent, Matt grew up in France and has now been living in Singapore since 2011. A self-confessed movie addict, he also enjoys Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and all manner of high-tech gadgets.

Ms. Rumilla Williams
Born and raised in India, Rumilla Williams now works for an Investment Bank in Singapore. She is very passionate about this cause and doing her part, even if it is very tiny, in helping those are bound by human trafficking.She believes that even if there is a difference made in just one life, all the effort taken would be worthwhile.

Ms. Jean Low
A freelance graphic and web designer under the moniker of Little and musician in the local indie scene. Her interests lie in theatre, music, design for education, and social causes/enterprises.

Ms. Beverly Ang
Beverly is currently a secondary school teacher who graduated from Boston University with a double major in English Literature and Comparative Literature, as well as a minor in French. Beverly is an avid traveller whose other passions include literature, cultural exchanges, anti-human trafficking efforts and education. She is a firm believer in the transformational power of education, especially for women and girls in rural areas where the only option out of poverty is prostitution. Beverly has done short teaching stints in Nepal, where she taught English to Nepalese widows, and in Laos, where she taught English to Laotian children. She also participates in anti-human trafficking efforts, such as Emancipasia’s work in raising awareness about modern-day slavery. On a personal level, Beverly also gives presentations about human trafficking to school and church groups whenever the opportunity arises. Beverly strongly believes in standing up for those whose voices have been silenced, and in making a difference wherever one is placed.

Ms. Teo Limei
Limei is doing her Bar course in Singapore to become qualified as a solicitor. She is passionate about this cause and besides volunteering with Emancipasia, she takes initiative to learn more on her own so that she is in a better position to advocate. Limei's conviction in raising awareness on human trafficking stems from her previous encounters with victims of sex trafficking and her strong belief that all humans deserve to be treated equally and with respect.

Ms. Yvette Smith
Yvette has been involved in advocating for human rights for almost a decade in a number of non-profit organisations. Based in Singapore (after a long period in London) she works in the Australian government sector managing events and logistics for high-level officials. She is currently applying her passion to studying a Masters in Human Rights to pursue a career in the field. While not working and volunteering, Yvette enjoys a very active life, and can often be found wake-boarding, climbing and travelling.

(As at May 2014)

EmancipAsia Ltd. is a Charity registered in Singapore. Its registration number is 201205064M.
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