Chantha said there was nothing else she could do in Cambodia but become a prostitute.
“If you don’t even have a dollar in your pocket to buy rice, how can you bear looking at your starving relatives?” she said.
“You do whatever to survive, until you start to realize the consequence of your deeds.”
by Kounila Keo
Cambodian sex workers in Phnom Penh. Chantha says there was nothing else she could do in Cambodia but become a prostitute(AFP/File/Tang Chhin Sothy)
Chanta, in her early twenties, was working in a small red-light district west of the capital Phnom Penh several months ago when she was arrested under Cambodia‘s new sex-trafficking law.
Police nabbed her in a raid and charged her with publicly soliciting sex, fining her nearly two dollars. Then, Chanta claims, the arresting officers gang raped and beat her for six days in detention.
Bruises covered her body, but none of her assailants were brought to court, she said.
The Cambodian government began prosecuting a new “Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation” in February after years of pressure from the United States to clamp down on sex trafficking.
Since then, authorities have conducted brothel raids and street sweeps, but rights groups complain the new law has in many ways worsened the exploitation of women.