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2019 (Narrative date)

There are an estimated 261,000 people living in modern slavery in Cambodia (GSI 2018). All of Cambodia's 25 provinces are sources for human trafficking. Cambodian women and girls move from rural areas to cities and tourist destinations where they are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels, beer gardens, massage parlors and salons. Cambodian men form the largest source of demand for children exploited in prostitution, although men from across the world travel to the country to engage in child sex tourism.

Chenda* was trafficked for sexual exploitation at the age of thirteen. Her pimp also forced her to sell drugs and steal from customers. She was beaten and subjected to torture if she did not earn enough each night.  

[My pimp] Tiger II ordered me to sell drugs from 9:00pm to 11:00pm and then sell my body from 11:00pm to 4:00am. I was ordered to steal, pickpocket, and cheat my customers by taking their money and motorbikes. They expected me to make $200 to $300 per night; if I did not, they punished me by stripping and beating me with a stick until I fainted, electrocuting me, cutting me and pouring salt water on the cuts, and placing my hands into a bamboo press for up to 20 minutes. To numb the pain, I began taking more drugs, like yama and acetima-mint, which made me feel invincible and unafraid. Tiger II and his gang watched me carefully and punished me for anything I did wrong. They forced me to sleep with as many as 50 customers a day. I had to give Tiger II all my money, but I secretly hid $5 from each customer. Most of the customers thought I was dirty. If I tried to confide in them about Tiger II, they accused me of lying.

*name given


Narrative source Youth Underground, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing human trafficking through youth education, awareness-raising and advocacy.

Original narrative can be found here: