Victims Voices: Lina

Lina received assistance through the NGO ‘Damnok Toek Poipet’ in Cambodia

Lina comes from a poor family in Cambodia. At the age of nine, her parents entrusted her to an acquaintance who said she could find Lina work in Thailand. The woman promised to send Lina’s parents part of her wages to help support their family.

In Bangkok, Lina stood for long hours outside nightclubs in the red-light district selling flowers and candy to tourists. Her trafficker took her earnings, and beat her when sales were low. After two years, her trafficker convinced Lina’s parents to also allow her eight-year-old sister, Sopheak, to work in Bangkok. Unwilling to let her sister suffer the same abuse, Lina determined they must escape. She asked a nightclub worker for help – luckily he agreed.

After spending several months in a Thai children’s centre, the girls were returned to Cambodia. The Damnok Toek Poipet Reception Centre for trafficked and abused children gave Lina and Sopheak a safe place to live, three meals a day, individual counseling and schooling. It also located their family. Today, both girls are happy and safe, and they have goals that are truly within their grasp: Lina, now 12, intends to be a teacher, and Sopheak, age nine, wants to be a nurse.

The Damnok Toek Reception Centre in Poipet, Cambodia, provides vital services, including food and shelter, counseling, medical care and education, to child victims of trafficking and children at high risk of being trafficked. The Centre aims to prevent children from being re-trafficked, and whenever possible, it helps reintegrate trafficked children into their families.

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