Sex Trafficking In Cambodia: The True Story Of A Cambodian Heroine By Somaly Mam

2199 words - 9 pages

“Some girls come to us beaten half to death. They are so young. They have marks that are worse than anything I have ever endured.” (Mam 166). Throughout the world, traffickers coerce and abduct women and children into the sex trade. Traffickers then trade and sell these women for the use of sexual exploitation (Mace Venneberg, and Amell 336). As many as 20 million people are involved in the global sex trade at any given time (Nawyn, Birdal, and Glogower 56). Though sex trafficking is acknowledged as an issue throughout the world, it continues to become even more extreme. Anyone, from anywhere, could be taken and sold as a slave. In countries such as Cambodia and Thailand, girls can be as young as five or six years old when they enter the sex industry (Chung 484; Mam 62). Statistics show that 80 percent of sex slaves are women and 50 percent are children (Mace, Venneberg, and Amell 338). “It can be expected that at least 1 in 40 girls born in Cambodia will be sold into sex slavery” (Mam 1). This number is alarmingly high, and continues to rise. There are several human rights activist groups and global organizations that attempt to stop the trafficking; however, more effort can always be put forth to help women and children throughout the world. Global organizations should do more to help the women and children in the sex industry; no person should have to endure rape, torture, or humiliating servitude.
Somaly Mam experienced a horrifying start to life at a very young age. Mam knows what it is like to be a slave and tells about it in her novel. The novel, The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine, written by Somaly Mam, tells the extraordinary tale of a woman who had everything taken away from her at a very young age. In this novel, she goes through the loss of her parents, her freedom, and her dignity and the struggle she faces to gain back some of the things that most everyone takes for granted. Published in 2009 by Spiegel and Grau, this novel stresses the issue of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia, mainly Cambodia. The writer shares her personal story with the world via this greatly powerful novel. Mam’s novel stresses the seriousness of mass trafficking and offers some solutions to the problem.
Somaly Mam’s story is not necessarily a tale of happiness. She does not know when she was born, only that it was sometime in the early 1970s. She does not even know her real name because she was called so many throughout her life. She grew up in a native village during wartime, and her village was small and tucked back away from the violence. During the wartime, her parents abandoned her and left her to fend for herself. As a very young child, a fellow villager sold Somaly to a man that took her far away from home. She had never seen cars, cigarettes, guns, or even light-skinned people. This man kept her for a few years as a slave, doing work so she could make money to feed his drinking and gambling habits. She lived in this...

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