My Mother Sold Me

My Mother Sold Me

Cambodia, where virginity is a commodity

Millions of Cambodians live in extreme poverty, dependent either on menial jobs or credit but when finances stretch too far, desperate families see no other choice than to capitalise the only asset they have left, their daughters’ virginity.

Many men are eager to pay for sex with a virgin because local folklore says it will give them strength and long life. Destitute families sacrifice their children for as little as $400.

When their virginity has been lost, girls are often dragged into prostitution by families who struggle to scrape by. In nightclubs and karaoke bars, adolescent girls pour drinks and offer sexual favours, sometimes seeing four or five clients a day.

RTD travelled to Cambodia to meet child prostitutes and the mothers who sent them into the sex industry. These are heartbreaking stories about extreme poverty from children who must obey parents that force them to sleep with strangers and mothers who reveal why they sell their children’s innocence.

Preparing for Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child logoCCC Mission Co-ordinator Huot Chanthoeun has just spent three days at a workshop preparing for Operation Christmas Child’s 2018 shoebox distribution.

Since 1990, more than 157 million children in over 160 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.

Each year, thousands of Cambodian children receive shoeboxes packed with gifts lovingly chosen and packed by donors from across the world. Along with their shoebox, the children are given an illustrated booklet to help them understand the real meaning of Christmas.

Chanthoeun and the other delegates at the workshop planned the logistics of gathering groups of children and distributing shoeboxes across Cambodia this Christmas.

Find out how you could bring joy to a needy child this year by visiting the Operation Christmas Child web site.

Delegates at the forum

Faith Groups Join Forces to Combat Human Trafficking

The second Cambodia National Interfaith Forum on Combating Human Trafficking took place on 30 August 2018.

The event brought together government officials, leaders of different faith groups and non-governmental organisations working against trafficking. The forum was presided over by Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the National Committee for Countering Trafficking.

The main purposes of the forum were threefold:

  • to raise awareness and knowledge of trafficking-related issues;
  • to promote broader engagement and participation of different faith groups, the general public and stakeholders to combat trafficking;
  • to advocate the government to observe the day as the “national interfaith prayer day against trafficking”.

CCC was represented at the event by Mission Co-ordinator Ms Huot Chanthoeun.

Angkar movie poster

Angkar: UK Premiere

Born from a forced marriage during the Khmer Rouge regime, director Neary Adeline Hay travels back to Cambodia with her father, Khonsaly, to face his former Khmer Rouge persecutors. In Ta Saeng, the detention village that they lived together in as prisoners over forty years before, Khonsaly and the remaining inhabitants recount the workings of the sites that became theatres for the deaths of millions. In a contemplative, artful piece of testimony, Hay and her father produce a personal and poetic treatise on the need to record and reactivate memory and not forget the past, however painful it may be.

The Open City Documentary Festival is screening the UK premiere of Angkar with a Q&A with director Neary Adeline Hay at Picturehouse Central, Corner of Great Windmill Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly, London, W1D 7DH, at 8:30 on Thursday 6 September.