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Srey Neth

There are an estimated 261,000 people living in modern slavery in Cambodia (GSI 2018). The country was renowned as a sex tourism destination in the 1990s and this legacy is still prevalent today with women and girls trafficked within the thriving sex industry in Cambodia's major cities. Despite significant attempts to curb CSE, NGOs report the industry has been pushed underground and sex offenders are still able to purchase sex with children through an intermediary rather than more overt selling of sex in brothels. Boys and young men are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation, with many entering the massage industry due to a lack of training and skills.  Srey Neth is a young Cambodian victim of human trafficking. In this story she speaks of her experience transitioning from victim to survivor. At 14 she was sold by her mother to a pimp for $300; a week later he sold her virginity for the same price then he forced her to serve 10-20 men per night afterwards. Her refusal was met with beatings or electrocution. Srey Neth was later rescued by police and a non-governmental organization. During her recovery, which unsurprisingly has taken more than five years, she was diagnosed with HIV.

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Ki Pheakdey

While the Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that there are less than 1000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Fiji, it nevertheless remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation. Workers from South and East Asian countries are often subjected to forced labour in small and informal farms and factories, construction, and on fishing vessels that transit through Fiji or board fishing vessels (mainly China and Taiwan-flagged) from Fiji ports and waters.Ki Pheakdey was 22 years old when he was trafficked by the recruitment agent Giant Ocean Intl Limited from Cambodia to Fiji where he was forced to work for 3 years on a fishing vessel.  

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Borey

There are an estimated 610,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand (GSI 2018). Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry, subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult. Borey was trafficked from Cambodia on to a Thai fishing vessel. Though he has now escaped conditions of slavery, Borey still suffers mental health issues from his trauma.

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Chivy

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result, many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them.Chivy was trafficked from Cambodia to China and forced to marry a Chinese man. Chivy tells of how escaped from her husband, going to the Cambodian consulate and the difficulties of returning home.

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Charaya

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result, many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. Charaya was trafficked to China from Cambodia and forced to marry a Chinese man. Here she tells of how she returned home after escaping her husband and going to the police and Cambodian consulate.

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Channary

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result, many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. Channary was trafficked to China from Cambodia and forced to marry a Chinese man. She tells of how the translator present at the marriage registration office failed to authenticate free will, failing to prevent her forced marriage.

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Champei

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result, many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. Champei travelled along with four other women to China for work. However, upon arrival she was taken to a guesthouse where she was kept for a few days before being sold in to marriage with a Chinese man.

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Botum

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. Botum was working in Phnom Penh when a co-worker approached her, convincing her to travel to China for work. However, once her travel documents were obtained, they were collected and retained by an agent and Botum was trafficked to China for forced marriage.

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Bopha B

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls  from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. The gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them   Bopha was working in Phnom Penh when she told she could earn more money moving to China and marrying a Chinese man. Though she didn’t want to, the broker eventually convinced her mother to persuade her. Bopha eventually moved to China.

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Anchaly

There are an estimated 610,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand (GSI 2018). Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry, subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult.   Anchaly, a Cambodian man, was looking for work when a broker told him he could earn good money working on a boat. However, when he arrived, he, along with other men, were told they had been sold. 

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Lina

The internal migration of Chinese people seeking work has created an opportunity for human traffickers in China. Moreover the gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. The prevalence of poverty in China makes the poor more vulnerable to enslavement. With the National Bureau of Statistics estimating that 70,170,000 are still living in poverty, people are more desperate and thus more likely to be receptive to fraudulent job offers. 17 year old Lina was recruited to China by her cousin who approached her parents, telling them Lina could earn more money abroad. However, upon arrival she was taken to the Bride Market and placed in a home where men would come to choose wives. When she pleaded with her cousin to go home, she was told she owed $2000.

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Bopha

The internal migration of Chinese people seeking work has created an opportunity for human traffickers in China. Moreover the gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. The prevalence of poverty in China makes the poor more vulnerable to enslavement. With the National Bureau of Statistics estimating that 70,170,000 are still living in poverty, people are more desperate and thus more likely to be receptive to fraudulent job offers. Bopha  left her factory job in Phnom Penh when she was told she could find work with a high salary in China. However, upon arrival Bopha was taken to the Bride Market and sold to a man with mental health issues.

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Yum

Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry. Enslaved people are subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult. The Thai Government has faced severe pressure to tackle forced labour specifically in the fishing sector, with the European Commission threatening a trade ban in 2015 for not taking sufficient measures to combat illegal and unregulated fishing that would cause the loss of up to US$1.4million a year in seafood exports. As a result the Government have reportedly accelerated efforts to combat labour exploitation, however despite this most workers in the Thai fishing sectors remain unregistered.    Yum was in Cambodia looking for work when he decided to travel with friends to Thailand. On the way, they were met by a man who offered them work on his farm, which they accepted. They were forced to work long hours with no wages. After a month, the farmer fled and Yum was offered work on a construction site in Thailand. However, in Thailand Yum arrived not at a construction site but a sea port. It was only after days on a fishing vessel that he was told he had been sold. Subjected to months at sea with poor nutrition and daily beatings, Yum was finally able to escape one the boat reached Indonesian waters. 

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Vannak

Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry. Enslaved people are subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult. The Thai Government has faced severe pressure to tackle forced labour specifically in the fishing sector, with the European Commission threatening a trade ban in 2015 for not taking sufficient measures to combat illegal and unregulated fishing that would cause the loss of up to US$1.4million a year in seafood exports. As a result the Government have reportedly accelerated efforts to combat labour exploitation, however despite this most workers in the Thai fishing sectors remain unregistered. Vannak sought work away from home in order to provide for his family. He was offered a job by a taxi driver drying fish in Thailand and told that if he refused he would have to pay for the journey, money he did not have. Vannak was locked up and forced on to a fishing boat where he worked for 3 years under the constant threat of violence and never receiving any salary for his work. Eventually, Vannak escaped, swimming twenty minutes to shore and making his way back to Cambodia and his family.

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Bella

Cambodia was renowned as a sex tourism destination in the 1990s and this legacy is still prevalent today with women and girls trafficked within the thriving sex industry in Cambodia's major cities. Despite significant attempts to curb CSE, NGOs report the industry has been pushed underground and sex offenders are still able to purchase sex with children through an intermediary rather than more overt selling of sex in brothels. Boys and young men are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation, with many entering the massage industry due to a lack of training and skills. Bella was sold into sex slavery by a woman she met who recruited her for domestic work. Her story demonstrates the ways in which survivors can be supported by organisations to gain self-confidence and education, in order to avoid returning to situations of slavery.

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Amaya

Cambodia was renowned as a sex tourism destination in the 1990s and this legacy is still prevalent today with women and girls trafficked within the thriving sex industry in Cambodia's major cities. Despite significant attempts to curb CSE, NGOs report the industry has been pushed underground and sex offenders are still able to purchase sex with children through an intermediary rather than more overt selling of sex in brothels. Boys and young men are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation, with many entering the massage industry due to a lack of training and skills. Amaya’s story demonstrates that family problems and child abuse can lead to children turning to those who would sell or exploit them. After Amaya was rescued by the police she was referred to Hope for Justice and began her rehabilitation program. She worked through her trauma and began healing from the pain of her past. She began to discover a new dream for her future.

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Sopheap

Sopheap was born in Cambodia and enslaved into forced begging in Vietnam, then suffered physical abuse at the hands of minders. Children from impoverished families in Cambodia are vulnerable to forced labor, often with the complicity of their families, including in domestic servitude and forced begging or street vending in Thailand and Vietnam.

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Dara

“Dara” was enslaved for sexual exploitation as a child in Cambodia. Here she discusses her enslavement and the psychological impact that this has had on her, explaining the difficulty of reintegrating into society after her enslavement, and that she feels “finished” and “dead.” She also talks about her work as a volunteer helping other survivors of slavery to train and take control over their lives. Despite significant attempts to curb the commercial sexual exploitation that Cambodia became famous for in the 1990s, NGOs report the industry has been pushed underground and sex offenders are still able to purchase sex with children through an intermediary rather than more overt selling of sex in brothels.

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Dalyn

Dalyn told her story at the age of 17 while living in a shelter. She was enslaved at the age of 12 after a woman made false promises of a job in a garment factory. Instead, she was sold to a brothel and abused physically and psychologically until the brothel owner was arrested and the children rescued by the AFESIP (Agir Pour La Femmes en Situation Précaire, Acting for Women in Precarious Siutations). Like many other survivors, she expresses a desire to tell her story in order to prevent the enslavement of others. Despite endemic corruption that contributes to slavery in various sectors in Cambodia, including with vulnerable demographics, the government has done little to investigate, prosecute or convict complicit officials.

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Chariya

Chariya became a child sex slave in Cambodia at age of seven, trafficked with her four-year-old sister. She was rescued after four years. She notes that the dreams of a “little girl” were over when she entered slavery. Her enslavement continues to cast a long shadow: freedom includes “nightmares.” Despite endemic corruption that contributes to slavery in various sectors in Cambodia, including with vulnerable demographics, the government has done little to investigate, prosecute or convict complicit officials.