Cambodia’s modern slavery nightmare: the human trafficking crisis overlooked by authorities

Despite promises by the government to eradicate trafficking rings, people are still being sold in Cambodia and forced to run online scams.

In September Cambodian authorities recovered evidence of human trafficking, kidnapping, and torture during raids on a suspected cybercrime compound in the coastal city of Sihanoukville.

Over the past 18 months casinos, dormitory blocks, luxury hotels and remote office complexes across Cambodia and the wider region – many linked to powerful political figures – have become host to criminal operations running crypto, investment, and gaming scams. People from all over the world are lured by the promise of work, then forced to defraud strangers with threats of beatings, torture, and electrocution should they not comply. Initial calls for help triggered a handful of rescues, but as time went on, Cambodian authorities began dismissing reports of trafficking and detention as labour disputes.


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