Their passports were taken, said Rivers, and they were forced to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. They received only $100 per month for their illegal labor in an electronics factory.
One of the women, called “Chinari” to protect her identity, has two daughters stuck in the slave trade. She has sold land to free one, and is trying to raise money for the other.
Many of the women are forced to reside in a compound run by the traders. The leader of the one compound, also a woman, refused to speak with Rivers and his crew.
Human trafficking is not uncommon in Cambodia. Not only are hundreds of thousands of women put to work every year, women and children are also put into sexual slavery. Families in need of money are often complicit in the enslavement of their own kin. Other girls, looking for work, mistakenly respond to misleading job advertisements. Approximately 35 percent of the trafficked women are under 15 years old, and many contract STDs, including HIV.
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