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Cambodia: SEX SLAVES [EN]

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Published on Apr 6, 2007

IT was fueled by the arrival of tens of thousands of predominantly male UN personnel in the wake of the 1993 peace keeping mission.

Young girls in Cambodia and from Vietnam sold in the sex slaves trade. Young girls as 8 years old are sold into prostitution, where the international should take a closer look at police chief Hok Lundy (Vietnamese agent) profile. The tip off properly from the police inside.

Vietnamese women and girls who work as commercial sex workers in Cambodia can be found in brothels, karaoke shops, massage parlors, dancing halls, and kokh-chol [coin-rubbing] places or in their own rented places. Not all of the Vietnamese women working in these places are victims of trafficking, although it is hard to draw a line between those who came voluntarily and those who were forced or deceived. They sometimes end up in the same places with similar working and living conditions.

Among the various places where Vietnamese commercial sex workers can be found, many different classes in price, beauty of girls, hygiene practices and openness can be distinguished. We visited brothels where the rooms were not more than some partition-walls made out of cardboard, whereas other brothels were big stone houses. These differences in brothels are related to the different price ranges and the different categories of customers for whom they are catering. As many studies have shown, the majority of the brothels are catering to Cambodians and charge prices varying from 2,000 riel to 20 dollars or more. In Phnom Penh and Kompong Som the most expensive places can be found, especially those catering for foreigners.

Some of the women working in these dancing halls are, indeed, independent, whereas others are working under the strict supervision of a taipan. A taipan is described as the boang [elder sister] of the girls. She is sometimes an ex-prostitute who has been assigned by the owner of a dancing hall/restaurant to facilitate between the clients and the prostitutes. A Vietnamese girl who worked in a dancing hall in Phnom Penh argued that her colleagues under supervision of the taipan are controlled like prostitutes in a brothel. They are not free to go, whereas she rented her own room and decides for herself whether she wants to go with clients, who are mostly tourists from different countries. When she thinks a customer is not good she doesn't go with him. Others are nice and take her for dai leeng [a trip] to Kompong Som or Siem Reap.

The very young girls working in brothels are perhaps least free. They are often not allowed to go out, especially those who are trafficked to be khui-ed, since they are among the most valuable for the meebon. Besides, their appearance might alarm police or NGO-workers, who could come to rescue the girls and arrest the meebon. These brothels were, therefore, most difficult to approach during this survey. However, in more open brothels and in shelters we talked to girls who had been forced to work in such environments. A 15-year old girl in a shelter remembered:

"We were not allowed to sit outside and call the guests with our hands. This was done by the meebon. If there were foreign guests, the meebon let my group receive the guests. The meebon let us only receive Taiwanese and foreign guests. If Khmer guests came, the meebon let the other prostitutes receive them."

You can't do much if a brothel is next to Hun Sen's house while police chief Hok Lundy gives bitch slap to Hun Sen.

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