Support for child victims of sex trafficking

by Hope for Justice
Support for child victims of sex trafficking
Support for child victims of sex trafficking
Support for child victims of sex trafficking
Support for child victims of sex trafficking

Hope for Justice would like to thank all our donors for supporting our mission to eradicate human trafficking and protect the rights of survivors. Last year, we reached 199,894 people across the globe – the most we have ever supported.

The generosity of our donors has enabled Hope for Justice to support more female child survivors of human trafficking at our Cambodia Lighthouse in Phnom Penh. We have empowered and equipped them with the knowledge and tools they need to recover from their ordeal and build resilience against further exploitation. Our holistic services have helped girls like 15-year-old Ratana*, who was forced into commercial sex work when she was just 14 years old after originally applying for a job as a waitress. Ratana’s family was plunged into extreme debt, so she had to drop out of primary school in her fourth year, and search for a job.

Ratana was rescued during a police operation, and she was referred to our Lighthouse. Her perpetrators were arrested and put behind bars after she bravely gave evidence against them in court. We provided counselling and other support throughout the judicial proceedings.

Ratana is also a survivor of long-term sexual abuse. Our team provided specialist support for the trauma caused by this abuse and her recent exploitation. For several months, she received counselling and medical treatment for multiple health issues and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Ratana attended appointments with a specialist doctor, our in-house nurse, and counsellors to receive medical treatment, mental health support, and trauma-informed care. We also educated her about children’s rights, sexual exploitation and human trafficking, and safety. She also participated in catch-up education lessons and recreational activities. Once she was ready, Ratana was reunited with her family.

A counsellor at our Lighthouse said: “Initially, Ratana’s family did not realise that she had been exploited. They believed that she was working in a legitimate job as a waitress. Following a discussion, the survivor and her family agreed that the Lighthouse was the best place for her to be. While Ratana was in our care, it became evident that she had not only been sexually exploited but also been sexually abused over a number of years.”

Maggie Crewes, our Cambodia Country Director, said: “Following this support, Ratana’s health has improved drastically. She is calm and able to speak easily. She is smiling again and has a very friendly attitude. With the expertise provided by our team, we believe that the risk of Ratana being trafficked for sex or exploited again is greatly reduced.”

Ratana will be supported by another NGO near to her home. We will continue to follow up with Ratana to make sure she stays safe until she can be transferred into a local community-based project to access vocational training when she turns 16. This will enable her to earn money to support her family. 

Ratana told us: “I learned a lot from my time in the Lighthouse and I will make sure I am never re-exploited. I will use the knowledge I have been given to prevent any more bad things happening to me.”

*Name and image changed to protect the survivor’s identity

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Hope for Justice would like to express our gratitude to all our generous donors for supporting our mission to bring an end to human trafficking across the world.

Hope for Justice has continued providing tailored and individualised support to female child survivors of human trafficking at our Cambodia Lighthouse in Phnom Penh. Up until recently, we have supported an average of 20 girls per month, providing them with holistic aftercare to address their complex needs and enable them to recover and recapture their lives.  

Your generous support has enabled our team to move to a new Lighthouse in Cambodia, increasing our capacity to house up to 30 girls per month. The location is a huge improvement upon our former Lighthouse site, which was located in a busy, commercial area. Earlier this year, 22 girls and young women who have been trafficked were safely relocated to our new Lighthouse. The Lighthouse boasts three floors, comprising three large rooms for the girls’ sleeping quarters, counselling rooms and space for confidential client sessions and family meetings. There are meeting rooms, a clinic, and a large recreation space which is used for yoga, dance, relaxation, education, and life skills lessons, among other activities. There is also a large classroom and library room.

Maggie Crewes, our Country Director in Cambodia, said: “The space at our old building had become very inadequate. We now have a huge space that is perfect for the girls' and staff's needs. This really helps us to serve the girls much better and gives more of a sense of freedom as they have a much bigger area to occupy. The girls love the outside play area and garden space with all the trees and greenery. It is a large area for them to run around and have fun – it is such a joy to see because we know that the children’s engagement in physical activity will also positively impact their mental wellbeing.”

Thank you for your ongoing support and for making our work possible.

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Thank you so much to all our generous donors for joining Hope for Justice in our mission to eradicate human trafficking across the world.

Hope for Justice provided trauma-informed, tailored support for female child survivors of human trafficking at our Cambodia Lighthouse in Phnom Penh. At our Lighthouse, we offer these vulnerable girls holistic aftercare to address their specific needs and enable them to overcome their trauma and rebuild their lives after their trafficking ordeal. We also equipped them with the knowledge and tools needed to pursue a life of freedom and prevent further exploitation.

Your generous support makes it possible for girls such as Sarit* to dream for a better and brighter future. When she was 14, Sarit was trafficked to Phnom Penh and forced into sex work after being promised a job at a restaurant as a waitress and ice server.

Sarit was rescued from exploitation in April 2019 when the police raided the brothel. Sarit was referred to Hope for Justice, and our team has been supporting her ever since. The survivor initially joined our Lighthouse programme, where she received immediate crisis support, family and community assessments and collaborative planning to prepare her for her future. She was enrolled in our restorative programme where she received trauma-informed therapy and life skills training.

In January 2021, she moved into our Stepping Stones Project, where she was given the skills and support needed for her future. Sarit completed her vocational training at a beauty salon and she secured a full-time position with the company. Sarit also moved into her own independent living quarters.

Maggie Crewes, Hope for Justice’s Cambodia Director, said: “This resilient young survivor so impressed her employer that they offered her a full-time job. She has now completed all the steps of the Lighthouse programme and is in full-time safe work that she loves. This is fantastic news and is a testament to the hard work and dedication that she has put in over the past three years. We are truly celebrating with her.”

*Name changed to protect survivor's identity

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Thank you so much to all our generous donors for joining Hope for Justice in our mission to eradicate human trafficking.

Despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19, we have continued to provide specialised, individualised support to female child survivors of sex trafficking at Hope for Justice’s Lighthouse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At our Lighthouse, we provide these vulnerable girls with holistic aftercare support tailored to their specific needs to enable them to overcome their trauma and rebuild their lives after their trafficking ordeal.

Your generous support makes it possible for girls such as Sitha* to dream for a better and brighter future. Sitha, a 15-year-old girl, was tricked into forced prostitution. She was told she would work as an ice-server to earn some money. However, she was led into a room with a bed, beaten by the male customer when she tried to escape, and forced to have sex. She was trapped and exploited in the establishment for six months, during which time she was locked in a room, only allowed to leave to work as a prostitute or go to the toilet, fed leftovers from the restaurant, and given no pay.

She was rescued by the police and transferred to our Lighthouse, together with two other girls. They received crisis support and aftercare in the days and weeks following their exploitation. Our team also supported one of the survivors through the judicial process, helping them to testify against their trafficker at a provincial court. Each of the survivors has been awarded compensation.

Our safeguarding officer responsible for this case said: “Thanks to the collective work of the team, we were able to keep the girls safe and secure justice for them.”

Sitha is now training to become a caterer, and the other two survivors have been reunited with their families. The culprit has been put behind bars for seven years.

For more information about Sitha’s case, please click on link below:

https://hopeforjustice.org/news/trafficker-locked-girl-in-room-and-only-let-her-out-to-work-as-prostitute/?fbclid=IwAR1Y-bBieH2RuM-tehNNNZwSFNaiOschmqfQjkDonwA0jyuphV2KLm25r0c

*Name changed to protect survivor's identity

Thank you for your ongoing support.

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Thank you so much to our generous donors for joining Hope for Justice in this fight against human trafficking.

Despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19, we have continued providing specialized, individualized support to young female survivors of sex trafficking and modern slavery at our Lighthouse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. On average, our Lighthouse serves 20 girls every month, providing them with restorative aftercare support tailored to their specific needs to ensure they are on the path to recovery after their trafficking ordeal.

Your generous support makes it possible for these vulnerable girls to dream for a better and brighter future. In July this year, survivors of human trafficking assisted at Hope for Justice’s Cambodia Lighthouse marked World Day Against Trafficking by releasing balloons symbolizing their dreams for the future and their negative experiences being carried away.

The day began with a learning session about the real meaning of this strange word - “trafficking” - and how it is related to them. Our Cambodia Director, Maggie Crewes, explained: “For some of the girls, they don’t associate their experiences with this word and they learn it is bad, wrong, against the law, against their human rights. They did some reflection on what negative emotions they carry around from their exploitation, and that they want to let go of.”

“They wrote these things and put these messages inside helium balloons. Then, they released them into the air to be carried off by the wind to let go and show they can be released from these negative emotions and not have to keep carrying them again.”

They drew pictures of ‘My life before and my life now’ and dreamed dreams for their futures, putting their wishes inside other balloons to soar into the air. The girls then made a poster together reading “Together we can do this”, since rescue is not an event but a process – one that involves the survivors helping each other and being helped by the specialist team at the Lighthouse to overcome their trauma and past experiences, and prepare for the future.

Chariya*, a 16-year-old survivor of human trafficking, said: “Today I learned something about this new day. I have understood what happened to me: being sent to China by that promise of a good job for my family, and made to marry that man against my wishes. I learned this is a bad thing, a crime, that the Cambodian government even say it is against the law. Today, I make my balloon with my wish inside for my new life. It floats up to the sky carrying my wish and I pray blessing on that wish to come true for me and my new life. Today I feel happy to know these things.”

*Name changed to protect survivor's identity

 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

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Hope for Justice

Location: Manchester - United Kingdom
Website:
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Twitter: @Hopeforjustice
Project Leader:
Isabelle Bryan
Manchester, United Kingdom
$22,104 raised of $50,000 goal
 
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