Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A face given to the victims of the sex trade in Cambodia

The illegal sex trade in Cambodia includes between 50,000 to 100,000 individuals, with approximately 30 percent being under the age of 18, CNN reported today. Tragically, some victims are as young as five.

Srey, a six year old Cambodian girl, was sold by her parents into the sex-trafficking business when she was just five and drugged and raped repeatedly by her captors. However, she has been luckier than most. Srey was rescued from this horrible industry by Somaly Mam, a former prostitute herself. Somaly has become a leader in the fight against illegal sex trafficking, which is a multi-million dollar industry in Cambodia. To date, Somaly has saved 53 girls from the horrors of human trafficking. According to Somaly, many of the girls have mild to severe mental illnesses as a result of repeated sexual abuse. Some are barely able to function, and many others like Srey have HIV and may not have much time left. Somaly hopes to expand her rural sanctuary for rescued sex workers outside Phnom Penh where the girls are able to receive vocational training.

For the entire article, click here.


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