Next week my wife Angie Ryan will host a fundraising evening to support a charity called Destiny Rescue. We became aware of this charity around the time of my trip to Cambodia late last year because my son’s English teacher from 2013, Tanya Mathias, has taken leave this year to teach in Phnom Penh as a volunteer.
The charity seeks to rescue and rehabilitate sexually enslaved children and young girls.
The trafficking of children, particularly for work in the sex industry, is especially heinous and is growing. Cambodia is becoming a magnet for sex tourism for Asian and Western tourists, partly because of an increase in tourism for all reasons, but also because of a “perfect storm” of a tougher Thailand, rampant poverty (especially in rural areas), governmental and judicial corruption and a social fabric that is still recovering from decades of trauma including genocide and civil war.
Although the Cambodian police work hard to curb this trade, and convictions are increasing, the rescue and rehabilitation of abused women and children is frequently left to NGOs and charities. Destiny Rescue is one of these, and one that, through Tanya, we have a personal connection with.