I am hoping to update this blog regularly to keep y’all updated to life in Cambodia. I will be sharing what I can in regards to work with IJM. Due to the sensitive nature of IJM’s work I will be limited on details I can share.
Working in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Come January, I am moving to Cambodia to work for International Justice Mission as an Aftercare Intern for 12-months. In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the main issue IJM addresses is sex trafficking. Worldwide, there are nearly 2 million children in the commercial sex trade. IJM lawyers, criminal investigators and social workers partner with local law enforcement. They seek to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors to safety and strength and transform the local justice system to be a safe haven that protects their citizens from these injustices.
There has been success.
IJM’s Cambodia office has been active since 2004. Since then, they have secured the convictions of 193 trafficking perpetrators and partnered with local authorities to rescue 500 victims of trafficking. Today, the rate of minors 15 and under in the sex trade, in known areas of Cambodia, is down to only 0.1%.
“Over the last 12 years, we have seen the impossible happen in Cambodia. Hundreds of girls and women have been rescued. Hundreds of traffickers and abusers have been held accountable for their crimes in local courts. Passionate government officials are working hard, and their consistent action has led to an astounding decrease in the number of minors being bought and sold.”
– Christa Hayden Sharpe, IJM Cambodia Field Office Director
I am serving with the Aftercare Program, which seeks to restore survivors to their communities by addressing medical needs, providing trauma counseling, and supporting access to school and/or vocational training. My primary role will be assisting the social workers on staff as they engage with survivors. For more details, check out IJM’s Justice System Transformation Model.