The Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia

Serving the people of Milpitas, California, and surrounding communities, since 1986, Dr. Sophie Dao earned her optometry degree from the School of Optometry at the University of California, Berkeley. She is active in community affairs, and she gives talks and writes articles about eye health and care for local audiences. Fluent in English and Vietnamese, Dr. Sophie Dao is a valuable resource for the Vietnamese immigrant community in California; in addition, she enthusiastically supports the efforts of CAMSA, the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia.

Human trafficking today remains one of the world’s largest criminal industries. The largest single form of human trafficking is labor trafficking – forced labor. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that nearly 21 million people worldwide are working jobs they were coerced or deceived into taking and cannot leave.

In 2008, several non-governmental organizations, including the Boat People SOS, the U.S. Committee to Protect Vietnamese Workers, the Vietnamese Canadian Federation, and the International Society for Human Rights combined to form CAMSA to fight human trafficking in Asia. In the short time since then, the organization has addressed nearly 70 cases and rescued more than 4,000 victims of human trafficking.

CAMSA employs a three-pronged, victim-oriented strategy to combat modern-day slavery. The first prong is always to identify people held in slavery and to intervene and rescue them. The second is prevention through education of vulnerable people. The third prong is intelligence: using the resources of the coalition’s many members, partners, and allies, CAMSA keeps its information about the strategies and activities of modern-day slavers up-to-date and collaborates with law enforcement to see that justice is done when slavers are caught. CAMSA also advocates for tougher, more effective laws.

More information about CAMSA and its activities is available at the group’s website,.


A Brief Look at Dry Eye

An optometrist in Milpitas, California, since 1986, Dr. Sophie Dao helps patients with a broad range of eye-related issues, from routine examinations and prescriptions for corrective lenses, to treatment of various infections and disorders, including glaucoma, and allergies. In addition, Dr. Sophie Dao treats patients with dry eye syndrome, a disorder she has studied in depth and about which she has written articles and made presentations.

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when a person’s tears are insufficient to meet the eyes’ moisture needs, or when the quality of tears is inadequate. Dry eyes are uncomfortable, and they often sting or burn. Treatments vary and can include eye drops, lifestyle change, and, in some cases, surgery.

There are several symptoms associated with dry eye, but not all are present in every case. These include a stinging, burning, or scratchy sensation in one or both eyes; stringy mucous in or around the eyes; increased sensitivity to smoke, wind, or light; redness; difficulty wearing contact lenses; a feeling that there’s something in the eye; periodic excessive tearing; and blurred vision, especially near day’s end.

Dry eye is caused in some people by an imbalance in the composition of their tears, a complex combination of water, fatty oils, and mucus. In others, it is caused by an insufficient quantity of tears. Other factors, including medications, problems with eyelids, and environmental factors such as pollution can also contribute to dry eye. In addition, tasks that require such concentration that a person blinks less frequently, such as driving or operating a computer, can also contribute to dry eye. Dry eye is also more prevalent in older people.

Adding tears is a common treatment for dry eye, either by use of over-the-counter artificial teardrops or prescription eye drops that stimulate the production of tears. Another approach is to keep tears in the eye longer by locking the tear ducts through which excess tears are drained. If the dry eye is being caused by an inflammation of the eye’s surface, or the eyelid, treatment of that problem generally will relieve the symptoms of dry eye.