Publication Date



Helms School of Government


Government: International Studies


slavery, sex trafficking, Cambodia, women, children, NGOs


Asian History | Asian Studies | Christianity | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | International Relations | Politics and Social Change | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies | Women's History | Women's Studies


The anti-slavery and other freedom fighting movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries did not abolish all forms of slavery. Many forms of modern slavery thrive in countries all across the globe. The sex trafficking trade has intensified despite the advocacy of many human rights-based groups. Southeast Asia ranks very high in terms of the source, transit, and destination of sex trafficking. In particular, human trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of forced prostitution remains an increasing problem in Cambodia. Cambodia’s cultural traditions and the breakdown of law under the Khmer Rouge and Democratic Kampuchea have contributed to the current governing policies which maintain democracy only at the surface level of administration. With the cooperation of Western and Cambodian non-governmental organizations, the problem of sex trafficking can be greatly alleviated as women come to understand their value and attain success and leadership within Cambodian society and beyond.