In Cambodia, day by day about fifty thousand women and girls are subject to sexual exploitation, one third of which is younger than 18 years of age. To a large extent, this is caused by the widely spread erroneous belief that sexual intercourse with virgins results in immunity against AIDS.
In his report “If this isn´t slavery, what is?”, Nicholas D. Kristof writes on the fate of juvenile Long Pross:
“Pross was 13 and hadn’t even had her first period when a young woman kidnapped her and sold her to a brothel in Phnom Penh. The brothel owner, a woman as is typical, beat Pross and tortured her with electric current until finally the girl acquiesced. […]Like many girls, Pross was painfully stitched up so she could be resold as a virgin. In all, the brothel owner sold her virginity four times. […].”
Twice she became pregnant and was subjected to crude abortions. After the second abortion, in a fit of rage, her brothel owner gouged out one of Pross´ eyes. She became useless and free. With the help of Sina Vann, Long Pross is now preparing for her new life in freedom.
The business model of forced prostitution is similar from Pakistan to Vietnam to the United States.
Pimps use violence, humiliation, and drugs to destroy the young girls self esteem. They are terrorized until they obey – unconditionally and immediately.
An activist fighting sexual exploitation of young girls and women.
At the age of six, she was sold to an older man, to run his household. At the age of 14, she was sold on to a Phnom Penh brothel. For years, she is forced into sex slavery. Her life changes, when she meets her later husband, the Frenchmen Pierre Legros. With his help, she escapes child prostitution.
In 1996, Somaly Mam founds the NGO AFESIP (Agir pour les femmes en situation précaires), which provides help and backing for prostitutes underage. UNICEF supports their efforts since 1997, amongst others with donations from Germany.
For her work, Somaly Mam was awarded repeatedly. On November 24, 2008, German Federal President Horst Koehler presented her with the “Roland Berger Preis fuer Menschenwuerde” (Roland Berger Award for Human Dignity), carrying a value of one million Euros. Her book “Das Schweigen der Unschuld” (The Road of Lost Innocence) was published in German:
“Child prostitution is a particularly horrible form of slavery”, says Heide Simonis, Chairman of UNICEF Germany, when the book is introduced in Berlin. “Somaly Mam breaks the silence of the victims, and encourages the concerned girls and women to search for a way out of their fate. Her book Is a plea to governments and and to the public to not longer be ignorant but to fight vigorously against those exploiting and those pulling the strings in the sex business with children.”
Source: UNICEF Germany
- Cambodia. Children are not goods – Protection against Prostitution (UNICEF Germany) Kambodscha: Kinder sind keine Ware – Schutz vor Prostitution (UNICEF Deutschland)
- AFESIP (Agir pour les femmes en situation précaire, Acting for women in distressing situations)
- On the “Trade” movie web site, you find a list of organizations against child trafficking and sex slavery: Human Rights Organizations Involved With Slave Trade
- On the “Holly” movie web site you find more regarding “Redlight Children Campaign”
- “Cambodia: Girls trafficking in South East Asia” – Kambodscha: Mädchenhandel in Südostasien (Terre des Hommes)
- “Holly” by Guy Moshe (priorityfilms.com)
- “Trade” by Roland Emmerich and Rosilyn Heller (tradethemovie.com)
- If This Isn’t Slavery, What Is? (Nicholas D. Kristof, NYT)
- A Heroine from the Brothels (Nicholas D. Kristof, NYT)
- ‘Holly’: An unsettling chronicle of child prostitution (seattlepi.com)
- Fisek Institute Ankara
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography by The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Cambodia Prostitution Datasheet (trekearth.com)