Anti-trafficking ministry allowed to stay open

Anti-trafficking ministry allowed to stay open

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A major Christian anti-trafficking ministry narrowly escaped getting shut down after a CNN segment on child sex trafficking offended Cambodia’s prime minister recently.

The segment told the story of mothers who sell their daughters into sex slavery, and Prime Minister Hun Sen took issue with the way Cambodians were portrayed.

The women in the segment, like a disproportionate number involved in trafficking in the nation, were ethnically Vietnamese, not Cambodian as the segment stated, according to Christianity Today.

As a result, Agape International Missions (AIM), which runs schools and shelters and investigates more than half of all sex trafficking raids in the country, nearly had to shut its doors after more than a decade of ministry.

But Don Brewster, the founder and president of AIM, apologized and explained in a press conference Aug. 21 that he had told CNN that the girls were Vietnamese, not Cambodian, while the segment was being produced.

Sen accepted AIM’s apology Aug. 22 and took back his statement that “no matter what it costs us, this organization has to leave Cambodia.” AIM has rescued more than 100 underage girls from the trafficking industry since its founding. (TAB)