Al Jazeera investigation finds girls as young as 14 working in the capital's brothels. Ya Da worked in a brothel for two years before she ran away. Now, she lives in a safe house with other former prostitutes and abused children. Mu Sochua, a politician with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party and a former minister for women's affairs, told Al Jazeera that most of Cambodia's sex industry was supported "by local customers". Cambodia's trade in child prostitutes. The involvement of high-ranking officials has been one reasons, NGOs say, that the sex industry has thrived in Cambodia. Daniela Reale, an advisor from Save the Children, told Al Jazeera: "The reality is that we do know local demand is the force driving this abuse. But General Bith Kim Hong, from the Cambodian national police force, rejected allegations that the officials focused their efforts to curb prostitution almost exclusively on foreigners. Last year, the Cambodian police arrested only 21 people for committing sex crimes with children - eight of those arrested were foreigners and 13 were Cambodians. The police also admit that the brothels they shut down in high-profile raids often reopen a few weeks later.
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Rescuing 5-year-old sex slaves Story highlights One former sex slave says she was five or six years old when approached by a man "No one could help me," she says Don Brewster and his wife operate a rehab center for child sex slaves "Just yesterday we rescued a five-year-old girl," Brewster says. Svay Pak has a disturbing reputation. The village outside Cambodia's capital of Phnom Penh is known as a place where little girls are openly sold to foreign predators looking for sex. One of the girls who was sold into the sex trade told CNN that before she could read she was working in a brothel. No one could help me.
Is buying sex a better way to help Cambodian women than buying a T-shirt?
She has a lap dog named Chica, and her own car that she bought herself. But behind her seemingly charmed life, Sokha hides a dark past from her childhood that still haunts her to this day. Sokha grew up in a poor village near Phnom Penh, the capital city. She said she was just 7 years old when she was sold for sex to an American man named Michael Joseph Pepe, a former U. Marine, who was then living as an ex-pat in Phnom Penh.
A neighborhood in Cambodia is a global hotspot for the child sex trade. The people selling the children? Too often, their parents. W hen a poor family in Cambodia fell afoul of loan sharks, the mother asked her youngest daughter to take a job. But not just any job. The girl, Kieu, was taken to a hospital and examined by a doctor, who issued her a "certificate of virginity. She says she returned home from the experience "very heartbroken.