January 16th, 2009
These three clips were prepared for a lecture I gave on behalf of the Blue Earth Alliance at the University of Washington. They are not “whole media” meaning they do not stand on their own as a complete story. But like my “Cambodia: Victim to Survivor” clip I produced last year, this what I have right now.
The lecture illustrates Cambodia as a traumatized, post-conflict country (Sophea) with a lack of economic opportunity forcing people to migrate for jobs and risk labor exploitation (Koh Kong) and internal victimization via sex trafficking (Srey Neth). Srey Neth’s story also serves as the figurative Cambodia to show transformative healing as a victim becomes a survivor.
Each time I go to Cambodia, I have hopes that I’ll be able to collect all the pieces I feel I need for a comprehensive piece on human trafficking in a post-conflict country. Inevitably, I come home with more pieces, but collecting this I realize I need even more. Human trafficking is an intensely complex story.
Unlike, say, the “Eastern Europe” story, which is better known for sexual slavery, Cambodia has many forms of trafficking. Labor, child adoption, begging gangs, sexual exploitation…the list is lengthy and sadistically creative. However, there are common underlying themes. Poverty. Gender Equality. Lack of education and opportunity.
While exhausted, each time I come back from Cambodia I am renewed with the fervor of immediacy and the desire to continue reporting on what I see, ever more clearly, is a global problem.
I am not finished with Cambodia or, maybe, it is not finished with me. When funding is available I will return. In the meanwhile, I am researching other stories, opportunities, and partnerships so I can continue reporting on human trafficking and what we can do about it. Some of those stories are right here, in Seattle.
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