Cecilia Flores

Social entrepreneur and human rights activist

"In my heart, truly, forgiveness does not come easy – and more so, mercy. I don’t know if I have been able to forgive those people who have made my life and girls’ lives hell on earth."

Cecilia Flores is a globally celebrated social entrepreneur and human rights activist, renowned for her courage in relentlessly fighting against human trafficking.

That made her a political prisoner for four years under the Marcos dictatorship.  Pregnant when captured, she eventually gave birth and raised two children while incarcerated. Released in 1986 she founded Visayan Forum, dedicating her life to ending modern-day slavery and pursuing freedom for all.  Among all the awards she has received, Cecilia most appreciates the love and affection of the women and girls that she cares for at Visayan Forum’s shelters.