For a child in a Cambodian courtroom, the experience can be harrowing. Child witnesses need to testify while standing right next to their abusers. The same ones who sold, raped them for profit, or exploited them. Then, sometimes the judge laughs at a young child's testimony. Sometimes the perpetrator’s friends or family jeer. Children may be told that it is their fault. It's in stark contrast to child-friendly practices common in developed countries.
At Hagar last year, 38 clients—most of them children – were involved in court cases in Cambodia.
We’re committed to make the situation better. We launched two initiatives in 2011 to help support clients through the legal process. A new Hagar Legal and Protection Unit includes a Cambodian lawyer and expatriate advisor, who ensure that clients are informed and supported. They accompany clients on appointments. They prepare them for court. Because, when a young girl stands up in court, speaks the truth, and is believed, it is a key part of the whole journey, from victim to survivor.
Also, Hagar and two other organizations began collaborating with the Cambodian Ministry of Justice to increase the child-friendliness of the system. Along with an art therapy consultant, we are designing a waiting room with the goal of providing a sanctuary. Children will be brought to the courtroom only when it is time for their voices to be heard. They will be exposed to less trauma, accusations and chaos. Last year, all concluded Hagar Cambodia legal cases resulted in a positive outcome. The perpetrator was convicted, sentenced, and fined. These results are not just a testament to good legal support. They reflect inner strength, good recovery services, and each person’s resilience.
During Human Trafficking Awareness month, we want you to know that you've made a tremendous impact on the girls in Cambodia who come from backgrounds of human trafficking. To show our appreciation, we've created a special thank you video for you directly from Cambodia. Watch Hagar's thank you video (one minute).
We look forward to our journey together in 2012.
“I did not choose the darkness. People tricked me. They brought me to a place and locked me inside a small room. They forced me to take a pill. Darkness surrounded me like a blanket. I was lost and confused. Even when I was rescued, I felt the same. Like I could not escape.”
Kyky's story echoes the experiences of so many other young girls who have suffered the trauma and violation of sexual exploitation. Kyky is the whole reason Hagar walks the entire painstaking journey to wholeness. Because of your support we can provide the long-term aftercare that girls who have survived human trafficking need.
Now, after seven years of aftercare at Hagar, Kyky is strong. She has courage and hope for the future. With big dreams in her heart, she has finally escaped the darkness.
Saved from a life of slavery, every girl has different needs. But one need is always the same. Education. Hagar's catch-up school in Cambodia teaches two grades per year. Once students are caught up to their age peers, they are integrated into a private school.
Last month, students at Hagar's School shared their dreams for the future with their teachers. It is our priveledge to share the girl's dreams with you:
We know that education can make dreams happen. Thank you for your continued support.
We are hosting a LIVE call with Cambodia this Tuesday, July 19th at 6:00pm (PDT) or 9:00pm (EDT). One of Hagar's managers, Sue Hanna, will share client's stories, on-the-ground issues, and take your questions.
Take this two-minute survey to become eligible. If you are one of the 25 people selected (in a random drawing), we'll email you call-in instructions this weekend.
You'll need to ACT FAST to qualify for this unique opportunity to connect with a trafficking expert in the field.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Hagar USA, Inc.