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on Etsy

Recovery for Young Women who were Trafficked

Poor rural families struggle to survive and sometimes lack food. They often send their teenage daughters to the city to work to help support the family. Traditionally, they go to Phnom Penh to work as housekeepers. Now many work at garment factories, as waitresses, or in foreign countries.

Group of women cooking

Traffickers go to the villages and tell the family that they have a job for their daughter and offer the family an advance of her first month's wages. When the girl arrives in the city, the trafficker sells her to a brothel. There she becomes a sex slave who is forced to "work off her debt," the money the brothel owner paid to the trafficker. She is beaten, drugged, and raped until her spirit is broken. According to UNICEF, over 5000 prostitutes in Cambodia are trafficked children, under the age of 16.

Friendship with Cambodia helps these trafficked girls in partnership with the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center shelter in Phnom Penh. The girls and women who stay there are victims of gender violence: trafficking, rape, or domestic violence. At the center they receive counseling, support, and vocational training as they psychologically heal from trauma. The center helps 70 - 100 women a year on a budget of about $70,000.

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