empowers sex trafficking victims by providing them with the means to prosper
A percentage of every sale goes towards providing an equivalent of an hourly income for a former victim of sex trafficking in Cambodia.
Empowerment project location
CO2 Carbon Capture
On land biodiversity
Why empower victims of sex trafficking?
Sex trafficking is an example of modern slavery and it is a common type of forced labour. The United Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported in 2021 that victims of sex trafficking are predominantly women and girls. At the same time, 20% of all trafficking victims are children.
The most popular approach when dealing with survivors of sex trafficking is to house them in shelters. However, this method can be limiting to their dignity, well-being and independence.
Why support Daughters of Cambodia’s victim empowerment projects?
Daughters of Cambodia (DOC) is a faith-based organization with a new model for tackling sex trafficking whereby victims are inspired to set themselves free. DOC helps women to exit sex work voluntarily, providing them with access to mentoring and education programs. This allows them to re-establish their domestic lives and maintain social bonds with their families and communities.
DOC operates 6 well-established recovery programs:
- Counselling and Social Work;
- Medical Treatment;
- Creative Programs;
- On-Site Church;
These programs coupled with skill-building workshops encourage sex trafficking victims to quit the trade and follow more fulfilling career paths. Instead of institutionalizing the survivors and making them dependent, DOC’s approach is voluntary, sustainable, and focuses on capacity building.
Why empowering victims of sex trafficking matters
Cambodia is one of the nations with the highest rates of human trafficking in the world. In recent decades, the sexual exploitation of young women and men in Cambodia has grown into what is now regarded as an “industry”.
In Cambodian society, there are several factors that can push young people into the sex industry, and once they are there, it is almost impossible to leave. These factors include:
- Social stigma and lack of education mean no alternative job options
- Sexual assault and rape destroy the hope and value of victims, often leading them into the sex industry
- Children wanting to support their families to pay back the debt of being born
Even when victims quit the sex trade, they are unlikely to live in a shelter because it is dehumanizing. This is why we need more solutions that emphasize the independence and dignity of sex trafficking victims.
Founder & Director
Ruth Elliott is a British psychologist who left Cambridge University in 2002 to work with victims of sexual exploitation in Cambodia. Ruth founded Daughters of Cambodia in 2007, after witnessing the poor outcomes of the traditional method of anti-trafficking.
Ruth created the current model, a pillar of DOC’s mission, as a way to empower and employ women. Since its inception, she has given more than 700 women the opportunity to change their lives.
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