Sina Was Traded As A Sex Slave At Just 12 Years Old
Sina Vann was just 12 when she was kidnapped from her home and sold into the Cambodian sex slave trade, where she endured torture and starvation for years before her rescue.
She was skipping school with a friend on the day she was kidnapped. Both of them were taken -- and has not seen her friend since.
Vann shared her story as part of a campaign from Australian charity, Project Futures. The organisation has helped to rescue and rebuild the lives of more than 8500 women and girls throughout Cambodia and Australia, who have been trapped in the modern slavery industry.
Vann was sold twice during her life. The first time, to a foreign client aged 70 -- she said fetched a high price, as she was still a virgin. She was forced to spend a week with this man.
"I had no options, no rights, I was violated repeatedly and abused in ways difficult to image [sic] or repeat. The only thing I was grateful for was the fact that they drugged me, as a result my memories of this time are blurred," she said, in quotes shared by Project Futures.
Vann was later held captive in brothels, where she was used for sex up to 30 times a day. Her 'virginity' was sold and taken by clients multiple times -- she said her genitals were stitched by a pimp over and over again, so that clients would believe she was still a virgin.
At one point, police raided the brothel Vann was being held in and took a group of the young girls, only to sell them on to another brothel which was harsher and crueller than the one before.
Vann said that when she did not secure more than 25 clients per day, she was not permitted to eat food other than chillies, which were given to her without water.
If the girls complained about their treatment, they would be hit or electrocuted with prods. Another police raid eventually discovered the girls, locked and naked in individual cages in the basement -- and this time, they were allowed to walk free.
"They held me in the darkness. I never saw the sun. I never saw the sky," Vann said.
When they found me, the sun hit me like a wall. It was so intense, it made my eyes ache.
Slavery is the fastest growing crime industry in the world, Project Futures said, the organisation claiming it is worth up to $32 billion per year. More than 40.3 million people globally are considered to be modern slaves.
The vast majority are women and girls.
In Cambodia, where slave networks are vast and powerful, human rights experts and advocates report traffickers are closely connected with government officials.
Cambodian women and girls are moved through the slave trade from rural areas to tourist destinations and cities, where they are trafficked through massage parlours, brothels, beer gardens, salons, karaoke bars and retail spaces.
While local men are the largest source of demand for these kidnapped women, men from Asia, the US, Australia and South Africa are also known to travel to Cambodia to engage in child sex tourism.
Vann now works in community outreach for an organisation that helps to rehabilitate women who have escaped the slave trade.
"Because I am [a] survivor, and today I am recovered, I am in a good position to help others experiencing situations of trafficking, exploitation and rape," she said.