Phnom Penh, Cambodia – A former child victim’s brave report to child protection organization APLE about alleged sexual exploitation of minors and adults led to a successful police operation on Monday. The suspect, a 37- year-old female called H.S. was arrested by AHTJP police when she tried to bring two young females, aged 17 and 19, to a hotel in order to have sex with customers. Three victims, including the former child-victim aged 17, have been identified in total.
H.S. recruited young females and minors into the sex business. Having strong manipulating skills, the females and minors agreed to give the suspect half of their earned money. Even after the females had made enough money to live on their own, they felt such a strong bond with the suspect that they stayed in the exploitative situation.
Khoem Vando, Deputy Director of Field Operations at APLE, said about the investigation:
“The former victim who reported this case serves as an example for society. I call to the public not to look away when they know about sexual exploitation, but to take action for the sake of child protection.”
Child trafficking has gone more underground and has become more organized in the last couple of years. This has had a significant impact of the difficulty of investigations into this type of crime. Despite all difficulties, APLE was involved in 13 successful convictions since 2014.
The former victim who reported about the case was herself rescued from sexual exploitation approximately 6 months ago. Due to significant support and aftercare, she is well underway of full rehabilitation. Currently, she is studying in a life-skill program at a safe place.