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Trang Lam First Permanent Forum Experience at the UN in 2011

Trang Lam from New Zealand attended her very first Permanent Forum at the United Nations in 2011. She did a fantastic job delivering a speech on behalf of the Khmer-Krom Federation Youth Committee.

“This was my first time doing something major like this; I've never been to an event to talk about your Human right or the rights of our people before. All I've done back in Nelson (New Zealand) is volunteers to help out in the Committee, One thing that People need to know about me is that I am painfully shy around a lot of people I don’t know that worse when I have a give a speech in front of anyone. Therefore, the one thing that I learned while I was over there was how to get over my shyness and just go for it.” Trang was asked to list some things she learned while attending the UNPFII and said “What I was doing at the UNPFII was very important, I was there to stand up for people that was afraid to do so themselves, or just cannot be there.

I was able to give my first speech in front of a room full of people that I did not know, but they are people who have the power help us in our course towards human rights for our people. We were all there to change the world and make people aware of the issues that are present in Kampuchea Krom. I have learned that there are a lot of youths like us who want what is best for their people and want to fight for their rights and the rights of their people. There are people that are here to help us achieve these goals if we are willing to work for it. I have also learned the importance of networking. I also learned that there is still a lot that we can do and need to do in order to achieve our final goal, whether it is at the UNPFII or in our own country.” Some issues need to be address as soon as possible back in our homeland. “What I would like others to talk more about pertaining to our people issued back home would be women’s Rights and the Freedom of Expression and Assembly.

We need to uphold the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements on Human Rights: The constitution contains a declaration of fundamental rights, including the rights of life, personal liberty, security, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, assembly and association including political parties and trade unions, due process and equality before the law, protection from arbitrary deprivation of property or deprivation of private property without just compensation, and freedom from racial, ethnic, religious or sexual discrimination. It will prohibit the retroactive application of criminal law.”

Trang has shown a great attitude about new experiences and the importance of our culture. Her final message to youths alike all over the world: I would like to tell the other youths that, what we do is very important; we are trying to protect the rights of our people and you in the future and our future family and country. Whether it is at the UNPFII, back home in our communities, or in a small way or big. We are the people who attend the UNPFII and give them hope and that others are there for them, so that when we are older we can be proud of what we have achieved in our younger years."

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