Cambodia

Combating Forced Labor Slavery

Labor trafficking in Southeast Asia and reports of slavery in supply chains are making international headlines. At the heart of the region, Cambodia is a source, transit and destination for forced labor slavery. Impoverished migrant workers are particularly vulnerable in a variety of industries, like fishing, domestic servitude, and child begging. There are not yet reliable studies detailing labor trafficking patterns within Cambodia, but there have been cases reported in sectors like construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

After more than a decade of successfully working against child sex trafficking, IJM launched a new project in 2016 to combat cross-border and domestic labor trafficking.

What We Do

RESCUE VICTIMS

We will rescue victims by partnering with authorities to identify and remove children or adults being exploited within Cambodia or trafficked across international borders.

BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

We will bring criminals to justice by pursuing cases against traffickers, slave holders and others recruiting, harboring or selling children, women and men into forced labor slavery.

RESTORE SURVIVORS

We will restore survivors by developing customized aftercare plans for clients and partner with organizations in Cambodia that provide trauma counseling, safe shelter and vocational training or education.

STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS

We will strengthen justice systems by leading anti-trafficking workshops and developing nationwide police training curriculum so that all Cambodian law enforcement are equipped to combat labor trafficking.

Over the last 12 years, we have seen the impossible happen in Cambodia. Hundreds of girls and women have been rescued. Hundreds of traffickers and abusers have been held accountable for their crimes in local courts. Passionate government officials are working hard, and their consistent action has led to an astounding decrease in the number of minors being bought and sold.”

– Christa Hayden Sharpe, IJM Cambodia Field Office Director

Our Progress

  • We have partnered with local authorities rescue 500 victims of trafficking since 2003.

  • We have secured the convictions of 193 trafficking perpetrators since 2003.

  • A 2013 study found that the prevalence of young children being sold in establishments in Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh dropped dramatically over the past decade of IJM’s work. Estimates of the prevalence of minors in the sex trade were high as 15-30%, with many believed to be ages 15 and under – today, the rate of minors 15 and under is down to only 0.1%.

  • IJM’s Aftercare Department has trained police in victim/witness interviewing and child-friendly practices, significantly improving police ability to build rapport with children and to obtain truthful testimony in police interviews.

Our Team in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

ESTABLISHED 2004

Focus

FORCED LABOR

Field office director

Peter Williams

Factsheet

IJM Cambodia

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