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Afesip Offers New Start for Abused Girls

As founder and director of the group Afesip, Mam Somaly is actively fighting to bring an end to sexual exploitation.

Her group has rescued scores of women from brothels in Cambodia and has won numerous international awards along the way.

Founded in 1996, Afesip provides psychological counseling to young women rescued from brothels.

It also trains victims in trade skills like sewing and hairdressing to give them employment opportunities when they leave the counseling center.

Afesip has three centers, in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham and Siem Reap, housing more than 200 women and girls, as well as one health clinic, Mam Somaly said Monday, as a guest on "Hello VOA."

In Cambodia, a girl can be sold by her family to a brothel or trafficker for as little as $150, Mam Somaly said.

"My organization has helped save nearly 4,000 victims and given them normal work," she said.