On Wednesday, February 7th, officers of the Phnom Penh Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police (AHTJPP), together with AIM SWAT officers, arrested a man suspected to have trafficked Khmer women to Saudi Arabia.
The arrest followed an investigation that was launched after a Khmer woman was repatriated from Saudi Arabia. She was trafficked there when she was only 16 to work as a domestic servant after her traffickers created false identity to show that she was an adult. For ten years, this brave survivor was forced to work long hours each day with no salary or freedom of movement. She was often subject to both physical and sexual abuse within the different households where she was forced to live and work.
She eventually managed to escape and fled to a neighboring country’s consulate. From there, she was repatriated home to Cambodia where she filed a complaint with police about the men responsible for trafficking her. She is now living at home with her family and working on rebuilding her life in Cambodia. AIM will assist her with aftercare services, and our legal team will provide free legal counsel throughout the court process.
A single suspect is currently in jail and has been charged with human trafficking related offenses. Other arrests may follow as the case is still open and investigative work is ongoing.
WHY WAS AIM INVOLVED IN THIS CASE?
AIM SWAT assisted in this investigation as part of a newly expanded partnership with the Cambodian Government. In addition to our regular child sex trafficking work, we are honored to have been invited to assist in the investigation of all other trafficking cases, including cross-border cases throughout Cambodia.
These new cases include trafficking of adults and minors for forced labor and marriage. We will also be investigating all other forms of trafficking, including organ trafficking, as the year progresses. Our partnership with the Cambodian Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police (AHTJPP) opened the door for AIM to help in these other areas, and AIM will now be working with and supporting police in other departments and areas of the country, too.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our partners at Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), who have been constant supporters of the work of AIM SWAT and, like us, believe in fighting to eradicate human trafficking wherever it may be. We are honored and thankful for the opportunity to help combat human trafficking in all its forms throughout the country.