Many of you may of heard of the genocide that took place in Cambodia in the 1970’s. Reading about it and researching it, I think it’s pretty clear that the genocide, the events, and the socioeconomic stuff going on after the genocide have some pretty strong connections to the human trafficking numbers.
I’ve been reading from this one website just this morning, and one paragraph struck me.
People who escaped murder became unpaid labourers, working on minimum rations and for impossibly long hours. They slept and ate in uncomfortable communes deliberately chosen to be as far as possible from their old homes. Personal relationships were discouraged; so were expressions of affection. People soon became weak from overwork and starvation, and after that fell ill, for which there was no treatment except death.
Already, Pol Pot’s troops had begun the cycle of trafficking.
During Pol Pot’s reign and the Khmer Rouge’s terror, virtually all intelligent/educated people in Cambodia were killed. Schools and universities were shut down, religion was outlawed (the Khmer Rouge killed buddhist monks), and music and radios were also banned. Even if you were part of the military, if you were a scientist or engineer or a professional in any field, you were killed. You could even be shot on the street for something as little as crying or laughing.
Pol Pot succeeded in being “the man” and keeping the Cambodian people down.
But, the Khmer Rouge were obsessed with treason and treachery. They repeatedly interrogated their own soldiers, and murdered anyone that was even slightly suspicious.
Since 1995, mass graves have been found, revealing the horrors of what went on beneath the Khmer Rouge’s thumb. Simple memorials have been made at these ‘killing fields,’ which include dug up bones and skulls.
On the Cambodia trip, the team will be visiting the killing fields to learn more about the Khmer Rouge, about the genocide and the poverty. Knowing and understanding the history of a country is just as important, if not more, as knowing where the country is now. A better understanding of the history will help us determine how to go about eradicating human trafficking from Cambodia.
NOTE** Some of you parents may not want your kids seeing some of these photos below.
Khmer Rouge prisoner.
child victims of the Khmer Rouge’s reign.
From the killing fields.
Money donated to date: $50.00