How to understand our action against child trafficking in Cambodia
These widows or abandoned women must find a way of survival and then live in conditions we could not endure for one single week… Patrik Roux founder NGO AVEC.
Agriculture has been recently mechanised in Cambodia; consequently many rural jobs have disappeared. As people have no forests or land left to work on, a lot of men go off to look for work in towns, especially in Thailand.Women stay alone with their children and are able to survive thanks to the money their husband brings back home. Polygamy being rather common here, a husband sometimes marries a young Khmer woman he has met in Thailand. These widows or abandoned women must find a way of survival and then live in conditions we could not endure for one single week…and this is how children end up in a world no child should ever see and run a great risk of being exploited in one way or another. When mothers work in town, or in Thailand, children are taken care of by elderly local people who are usually not family. The child has then to help at home and gets neither education nor payment; or worse, little girls have to go and work as prostitutes too. Danger factors for a little girl
- Very poor family sometimes living on less than 30 dollars a month
- Abandoned girl or orphan being taken care of by an unscrupulous relative
- Prostitute’s daughter
- Parents suffering from alcohol or psychological problems
- Abandoned mother with many dependent children : she can be tempted to give away her oldest children in orphanages that take them in instead of providing help to the mother. In our shelter we never separate a child from a good father or mother, but we provide help to give a good schooling to the child.
What we will remember about this refuge is the joy and the laughter of the children: these children who all come back from far away, have all lived through very difficult things, have found their childhood here…