A leading children’s rights worker died in a car accident this weekend as he returned from an investigation into child labor abuses in Kompong Cham province.
Tim Seaman, 43, had worked at Licadho as a consultant on children’s rights since 1995. He also was well known in the expatriate community for his skills as a musician, and as the former owner of the Duck Tub bar.
“He cared about people and he did everything he could to alleviate suffering,” said Eva Galabru, director of Licadho. “He looked after scores of children. He picked up people on the street who were injured. He will be very much missed.”
Seaman was returning from a rubber plantation in Kompong Cham when his vehicle apparently collided with another traveling in the other direction. At least one of the passengers in the car is also thought to have been killed in the accident, Galabru said. De-tails on the second vehicle were not available.
Another human rights worker who knew Seaman described him as a leader in children’s rights. He also recalled a recent effort by Seaman to collect signatures for a letter calling on the Indonesian government to end the violence in East Timor.
“He touched a lot of lives,” said the rights worker. “There was no personal ambition on his part. He was just a genuine, humanitarian worker.”
Seaman was a fixture on the Phnom Penh music scene. For several years, he ran the Duck Tub bar, where he played guitar, sang and hosted other bands. After selling the bar this year, he continued to play at open-mike nights, sometimes wearing festive hats and dancing.
Duncan Kilbun, owner of the Globe Restaurant which holds blues jams, remembers Seaman as “talented and enthusiastic.”
“He was a great guy,” he said. “He was always up for playing. Sometimes it was hard to get him off the stage. He’d still be playing after the audience had gone home.”
Seaman is survived by a longtime partner and her two children. A memorial service will be planned in the next few days.