The relatives of three young Cambodian women trafficked as brides to China contacted rights group Adhoc on Friday seeking help in repatriating their abused daughters, Adhoc and the families said.
All three women from Takeo province’s Tram Kak district, two of them sisters, had been working in garment factories in Phnom Penh when human traffickers approached them, offering better working conditions and salaries at a factory in China as well as a Chinese husband.
Mok Dob, the father of one of the victims, Chy Romdoul, 22, said that he had opposed his daughter’s plans to move to China in October, but did not imagine that she would experience abuse at the hands of her Chinese husband.
“She says that she has been confined, that she is not allowed to go outside and that she is being treated like a servant,” Mr. Dob said.
When Ms. Romdoul left for China in October, she was boarding her plane along with four other women, he said. She later phoned him from China, distraught.
“She cried and told me that the ringleader brought them to a residence in China, where Chinese men dropped by to see them and pick one of them,” he said, adding that he did not know where his daughter was living in China, or what had become of the other four victims.
Mr. Dob also said that he believes that the abuse his daughter suffered went beyond confinement.
“She’s been begging me to repatriate her for a month now…. I think she has been beaten or suffered other critical mistreatment, otherwise she would not ask me to help repatriate her,” he said.
When Mr. Dob went to see his daughter off at Phnom Penh International Airport, she handed him $500 from the female Cambodian ringleader.
In a separate case, the parents of two sisters, 25-year-old Chon Srey Aun and Chon Sokhom, 21, are also seeking help from Adhoc in repatriating their married daughters from China.
Similarly, the women were approached while working at garment factories in Phnom Penh and gave $500 each to their parents upon leaving for China. “My daughters were lured to go to China for a better job by their colleague at the garment factory,” Sen Heang, the victims’ mother, said on Friday.
“Both of them want to come back to Cambodia, the older one because she’s being locked up, and the younger one because her husband takes her whole salary and treats her like a slave,” Ms. Heang said.
Both families contacted Adhoc in Ratanakkiri province after seeing local news reports of a woman who was also trafficked to China to be married.
Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor for rights group Licadho, said that his organization had also seen an increase in trafficking cases to China.
“We have seen a dramatic increase of trafficking brides to China in the last two months,” Mr. Sam Ath said.
Young women from poor backgrounds are usually lured to China by the promise of well-paid jobs in the garment sector and wealthy Chinese husbands, which would enable them to support their whole family in Cambodia, Mr. Sam Ath said.
“After the marriage, most of them suffer torture and rape at the hands of their Chinese husbands and in some cases the girls are trafficked into the sex industry,” he said.
The Ministry of Interior has arrested 20 traffickers and rescued 35 victims of human trafficking to China in 2013.
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