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.
Cambodia's hidden child brothels
V annith Uy is the owner of what translates from Khmer as a "mobile nail salon", although the word salon is a stretch. Three years ago, when she arrived from the countryside, Uy had a different plan. She wanted to open a hair and beauty salon on proper premises in the Cambodian capital. The man was a police general who frequented the beer garden where Uy worked as a kitchen help, she says. He bought Chamnan for six days and nights. She was allowed to call her mother once a day. Uy received cash payment in full, but her planned salon never materialised. The money that had represented a life-changing sum — equivalent to around five years' salary in her home village in Kandal province — soon trickled away. Uy had greatly underestimated the task of clawing her way out of hardship; her stricken expression as she talks suggests she also miscalculated the personal costs of selling her daughter's body to try. Where to begin unravelling the shadowy, painful layers of Uy and Chamnan's story?
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Women line outside a Phnom Penh karaoke bar where sex is sold. There are many such establishments on the road to Svay Pak, on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital.
For the past 10 weeks, we have offered a glimpse into the world of a girl in a different country. While Monita and Chanleakna have grown up in different sets of circumstances, both are in school, live with their families and have big dreams for their futures. In recent years, one of the biggest issues making headlines and defining the experience of many teenage girls in Cambodia has been a rise in teenage pregnancy. About 1 in 8 girls in the country ages 15 to 19 has already become a mother or was currently pregnant with her first child, according to United Nations Population Fund data analyzing the sexual health of young people in Cambodia between and According to a recent report by Save the Children , teenage pregnancies have increased by 50 percent in Cambodia over the last four years, and there has been a similar rise in the number of child marriages in the country.