Over the last several months, the Agape International Missions (AIM) SWAT Team together with the Siem Reap police in Cambodia rescued 30 children who were being exploited at brick factories. This was a result of AIM’s involvement with the case of a 9-year-old girl who tragically lost her arm in an accident with a machine while working at a Kandal province brick factory and it was clear to them then that the sheer number of children working at these factories in appalling conditions demanded a response.
Despite difficult obstacles along the way, the AIM team was diligent in their efforts to remove 30 children from dangerous and hazardous working conditions over the course of five months. They are now safe, healthy and are either studying at school or receiving vocational training; opportunities that otherwise they would have never had.
Read more on the rescue operation at the AIM web site.
Pov Phearun is the son of the pastor of The Light of God Church in Chheu Teal village, to the south-east of Phnom Penh. In 2012 while still at university, he began to notice how the young people of his village were increasingly coming under the influence of a growing drug and gang culture. This, in turn, was fuelling crime and the disintegration of family life. Phearun felt called by God to use the youngsters’ love of football as an opening to share the gospel with them.
Since 2012, apart from a two-year break when he ran out of money to fund the programme, Phearun has been organising football training and tournaments for the village young people.
“They like playing football so much, and among them I also have some youth they addict using drug so I spend time with them and start to share the gospel and let them to learn Bible to know more about Jesus,” he says. “They also open their heart to believe in Jesus and change their lives. I have worked with many children and youth of my football teams. That is good way that we share the gospel and protect them from the drug abuse and gangster group by teaching about dangerous using drug, drink alcohol and smoking and fighting.”
Now, the farmer who owns the land that the team have been using for a training pitch wants to use it to grow crops, so Phearun has been searching for an alternative plot to rent. He has found some land that would be suitable but the cost of renting it is beyond the team’s means.
They also need funds for:
- football kit;
- transport to matches;
- outreach and fellowship.
Can you help? This is such a valuable and effective ministry and if it had to stop, the young people of the village could be at risk of falling back into the drug and gang culture. If you would like to make a donation, please visit our Giving page and contact us to let us know how you would like your gift to be used.
CCC Country Director Huot Chanthoeun participated in the third Cambodia National Interfaith Forum on Combating Human Trafficking on14 August. The forym was covened by the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, who reported that police had tackled 78 cases of human trafficking and saved 263 victims in the first six months of this year. That represented increases of 25 and 148 per cent respectively, compared to the same period last year. Phnom Penh municipal and provincial courts had sentenced 101 people to prison and released 25 on bail. Another 63 cases are pending.
In his address to the forum, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng urged the freezing of assets of those involved in human trafficking and other crimes. The minister called for collaboration between the authorities and faith groups to help fight against trafficking. The appeal came after the US Department of Defence downgraded Cambodia’s ranking to Tier 2 in its watch list.
Babies born through surrogacy in Cambodia are in limbo after their birth mothers were accused of human trafficking. Who will take responsibility for them now?
Listen to The Documentary Podcast from the BBC World Service.
In a Cambodian hospital, a group of terrified new mothers nurse tiny babies under the watch of police guards. They’re surrogates, desperately poor women promised $10,000 to bear children for parents in China. But they were arrested under new anti-trafficking rules, and now they face an agonising choice: either they agree to keep children they didn’t want and can’t easily afford to bring up, children who aren’t genetically theirs, or they honour their surrogacy contracts and face up to 20 years in jail. Tim Whewell reports on the suffering as country after country in Asia cracks down on commercial surrogacy and asks whether Cambodia’s detained mothers are criminals or victims.
(Image: Former Cambodian surrogate Va-Tei: “I feel really sad that I had to give the baby away.” Credit: BBC)