We directly intercepted Jia with our Change Agent activities from being trafficked. Change Agents are empowered survivors of sexual exploitation joining the fight against sexual exploitation. They organize meet-up activities and provide information to communities about trafficking and sexual exploitation as well as tell their own stories.
Chan is a 15-year-old girl from the Vientiane province in Laos. She finished grade 7. She left school because her parents could not afford to send her to school anymore and her school was far from her village.
Chan was informed that in September 2021, Orn, the same broker who tried to traffic Jia (see Jia’s story), came into her village to persuad her parents to send their daughter to China to get married. Orn told Chan’s parents that the Chinese man was someone who she knew very well. He was wealthy and wanted to marry with a Lao national. If the family agreed, they would get 50 million LAK (approx. 4,600 USD). The broker gave 1 million LAK (approx. 96 USD) to the family for food while they were considering the marriage. Chan’s father didn’t want Chan to go. Orn said that if anything happened, she would be responsible for it.
In October 2021, Chan’s family had money problems. Her mother sent Chan to work in a town in the province and her mother received 2 million LAK (approx. 192 USD). The work Chan’s mother forced her into was sexual exploitation. She lost her virginity with an old Lao man. She was devastated that her own mother tricked her into this situation. She stayed there for a while and came back home because COVID-19 widely spread in the country and there were no customers.
Chan’s friend convinced her to go to Vientiane Capital to work. When she arrived there, she found out that she had to perform sexual acts. Again, she ended up as a 15-year-old in sexual exploitation. Another friend introduced her to a “better” job. But again, she ended up in situation of sexual exploitation. She ran away again and stole 400,000 LAK (approx. 38 USD) from the owner of the brothel.
When she came back home, she learned that Orn was still in contact with her family. Her mother wanted her to go, but her father didn’t.
She attended the meet-up activity organized by the Change Agents. They informed her about the marriage with Chinese men and the trafficking from Laos to China. Chan said that she didn’t want to get married and go to China. She also showed our brochure about forced marriage to her parents. She discussed with her parents about the info she had received during the meet-up activity. Chan decided not to marry a Chinese man and go to China. At present, she is still in her community.
She is willing to join our partners empowerment program in the future and has asked us to help her cousin who married a Chinese man and detained in the Chinese family in China for 7 years.