Cambodia is also considered a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. One survey concluded that 35% of Cambodia’s 15,000 prostitutes are children under the age of 16, with some as young as 5 years old that are being sold (UNICEF). Many variables, such as: poverty, a rebuilding economy, and the after-effects for the Khmer Rouge make it a target for traffickers and industries that need cheap labor, sex workers, or personal gain. Cambodians are often trafficked into nations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and China. Our team in Cambodia works with a network of government officials, social workers, and NGOs to work hand-in-hand with our cross border partners, child placement/aftercare, and locally in Poipet and Phnom Penh to assist with children being exploited, trafficked, or sold locally for sex or labor. Most of these children are living in extreme poverty and working on the streets from early in the morning until late in the evening collecting recyclables, scavenging, or begging to collect money for themselves or their families. If they can’t make their daily quota, they are often beat and abused, so they will often go to extremes to provide for their family, including selling themselves for sex services or taking pornographic pictures.
Everlasting Love Women's Training Program & Social Business
Education Empowerment Program
The Education Empowerment Program is a child sponsorship program that provides funding for private school education and all school supplies, uniforms, shoes, school fees, transport, haircuts/hygiene, and birth certificates necessary to attend school. Education in Cambodia is not free and has financial requirements to attend. Extreme Love Ministries (ELM) also has a corresponding lunch sponsorship program, which provides one nutritious meal per day to those enrolled in the education program. For some, this is the only meal they will eat that day. Education is empowerment and a way we can break the cycles of poverty that lead to exploitation.