After visiting Tbong Khmum province over the weekend to canvass for support in Cham Muslim villages, opposition leader Sam Rainsy has taken up the case of two local women who say their daughters were trafficked into the sex trade in Malaysia.
The CNRP president held a press conference Monday at his office at the National Assembly, where Mat Mary described how her 15-year-old daughter, along with a 23-year-old woman, left their village in Dambe district for Malaysia in November for what they thought was legitimate employment.
“A week after their arrival…I got a call from my 15-year-old daughter, who said she was sold to be a sex slave for a Chinese man, and sold again to others,” Ms. Mary said.
Ms. Mary said she had been told by her employer at a cassava plantation—who she alleged set up the deal—that her child would be paid $500 a month to work at a factory that produces beer cartons.
Sman Sreynop, whose 23-year-old daughter also remains in Malaysia, said the ringleaders of the scam took roughly $2,500 from each family—borrowed from creditors—for paperwork they claimed was required to set up the victims with the lucrative jobs.
“Now we are in debt, and our daughters have ended up as sex slaves,” Ms. Sreynop said.
Mr. Rainsy, who met the two women during his trip to Tbong Khmum, said he had requested a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong today in order to help the two mothers—who say their complaints to local authorities have been ignored—voice their concerns to the ministry.
“We want this information to be disseminated since we don’t want to save only these two women,” Mr. Rainsy said. “We don’t think there are only two victims, but we believe there are many other victims in this situation.”
The women also submitted a complaint to the National Assembly’s human rights commission Monday.