Three teenage girls are now safe at one of our Lighthouses after being rescued from a brothel where they had been forced into prostitution.
The girls, two of whom are aged 15 and one 18, were being held by traffickers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
The brothel – disguised as a bar – was employing children as well as adult women in commercial sex work.
Thankfully, the three girls were rescued during a recent police raid.
Maggie Crewes, Hope for Justice’s Cambodia Director, said: “We were told these young and very vulnerable girls from the countryside had been held in the brothel for between four and six months.
“They have now been at the Lighthouse for a few weeks so this is just the beginning of their recovery journey. It is early days but the pictures they recently drew at our Lighthouse tell a thousand words – of how they have escaped the dark life they had been plunged into and are now thankfully in safety, and moving towards a brighter and safer future.
“They have come from extremely poor families and for this reason were targeted by brokers as easy prey to be lured by their promise of a ‘good restaurant job’, which actually turned out to be a brothel disguised as a bar.”
Hope for Justice worked with another non-profit organisation and, following the rescue, our intake officer and social workers received the girls into our care.
At our Lighthouse, they have a safe place to stay, nutritious food, access to medical care and counselling, as well as opportunities to play, pursue activities and rest, all this while the social workers work with the girls and their families to find long-term solutions.
Visits are being arranged to their family homes to assess what is in the girls’ best interests for the next stages of their recovery, and whether their families will be more stable and safe if they get assistance with opening a small business or similar income-generating activity.
Maggie said: “Please pray we can find safe solutions for both the girls and their families so they never have to be exploited like this again.”
Hope for Justice is working to ensure the law is brought to bear against the bar owner responsible for trafficking the girls.