Cambodia is situated in South-East Asia and is home to 15.14 million people. It is estimated that 26% of the adult population is illiterate and 18.6% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day. The lives of children in Cambodia are also challenging, with 36.1% of children working as child laborers and 31.4% of children receiving inadequate care. Cambodia is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.
- An estimated 35.8 million people are in forced labor at any given time as a result of trafficking
- Cambodia is ranked 14th in the world for modern slavery
- An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year
- 22% of human trafficking victims are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 55% are women or girls
- In Cambodia more than 6% of females and 5% of males aged 13-17 have reported at least one experience of sexual abuse
- Rape is increasing in Cambodia, and most victims of rape in Cambodia are children. The median age of rape victims in 2010 was 12 years old, two years younger than it was in 2007
- While the majority of child sex offenders are locals, the magnitude of Cambodia’s cases of child sex tourism makes it a popular destination for offenders
Purpose of the Mission Trip
In April 2016, Followers of Christ church, Cambodia together with its partner churches Mariners Church, USA, Kithu Sevana Church, Sri Lanka and Mavuno Church, Kenya held a Youth Conference to address the issue of human trafficking among the church youth. The conference was a success as it enabled the introduction of the youth to the issue of human trafficking; its causes as well as its solutions. The partner churches seek to empower the local church in its efforts to spearhead the fight against this social pandemic.
A follow-up mission to further emphasize this goal was carried out in July 2016. A youth team with members from the partner churches, as well as Star Kids Initiative (through Mavuno Church), came together to do a nationwide mission of empowering the church youth leaders. The team managed to address youth leaders in 6 of the 25 provinces in Cambodia. In order to drive momentum, a national team was established that would continue with the nationwide church youth awareness campaign.
The Role of Star Kids Initiative
Star Kids Initiative, through Mavuno church, was approached to consider ways in which it would enhance the next phase of the project, that of creating community awareness. This will involve the use of various creative arts such as plays, musicals, songs, story books etc. The proposed undertaking will be actualized as soon as the national team has created sufficient national awareness among the youth in Cambodia.