Sex slaves rescued from Japan
Cambodian and Japanese authorities have rescued seven Cambodian women forced into sexual slavery after being lured to Japan with the promise of restaurant jobs.
The women were cheated in November by brokers who organized visas and plane tickets on behalf of a Japanese man who owns a restaurant in Gunma prefecture on the main island of Honshu.
“The man promised to provide jobs in his restaurant to those women with high salaries,” Cambodian Foreign Affairs spokesman Chum Sounry said yesterday.
“But the man threatened and forced the women to provide sexual services to guests at the restaurant without paying them.”
He said that after receiving information from the embassy and a request from the women on Facebook, the Cambodian embassy in Japan cooperated with Gunma prefecture authorities to rescue them and bring them to stay temporarily at the embassy.
The embassy later intervened to protect their interests by preparing a case to bring those responsible for the enslavement to court.
The embassy also searched for volunteer lawyers to file complaints with the court demanding back pay and compensation.
The International Organization for Migration was asked to help with airline tickets for the women and continued protection for them on their return.
Mr. Sounry said the victims came from Phnom Penh, Prey Veng, Pursat, Kampong Speu and Takeo provinces.
One woman came back last month and the others are due back tomorrow after questioning by Gunma authorities, immigration officials, lawyers and International Organization for Migration officials.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Cambodian consul-general abroad helped to repatriate 816 Cambodian workers who had been affected by employer abuse, trafficking or other work-related difficulties last year including 16 from Japan.
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