Cambodia: A Place of Countless Struggles

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Alongside many countries in Asia, Cambodia is a place of countless struggles. Poverty, lack of education, abuse, and sexual trafficking consume most of Cambodia, and the government continues to let these issues flourish. One of the most prominent problems Cambodia battles with is the sex industry, with prostitution and trafficking rates skyrocketing. According to recent human trafficking statistics, an immense amount of victims are sexually trafficked and exploited in Cambodia each year, but 80% of victims are young women and girls (Bertone). While sex trafficking affects nearly every country, Asia is severely tainted by human slavery. In Cambodia, the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children is on the rise due to the increasing sexual objectification of young girls and boys. In order to understand why Cambodia is filled with so many struggles, one must examine the countries’ past catastrophes. What first triggered all the poverty and crime was the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot. This period of genocide spanned from 1975-1979, and it is estimated that the Khmer Rouge killed 1.7 million people. They specifically targeted Buddhists, ethnic groups and those who were educated in society (Chigas and Mosyakov). The genocide was short lived but it had long-lasting effects, leaving Cambodia in a frenzy of poverty and disease. In 2014, Cambodia can still feel aftershocks of this terrible occurrence, and it contributes to the rising sexual trafficking and exploitation

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