Wedlocked: tangled webs trap Cambodian ‘brides’ in China

Countless women from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar go to China to wed. Some end up happily married; others speak of violence and forced labour.

Kampong Cham, Cambodia, March 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – On the Chinese messaging service WeChat, Ol En scrolled back through time. Call unanswered. Call unanswered. Call declined.

The last she’d heard from her teenage daughter was a voice message on Feb. 10. “Mum – they don’t give me a penny. They just keep me in the house. Maybe things will change when I give them a baby,” it said.

Sitting stonefaced in her one-room shack in rural Cambodia, chickens clucking and wind kicking up red dust, the mother of three recalled how her first-born was trapped in China.

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