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26-year-old man escapes abduction and trafficking in Cambodia


26-year-old man escapes abduction and trafficking in Cambodia

February 2024

IJM is working with authorities to help 26-year-old Vu* get home to Vietnam, after he escaped from trafficking in Cambodia.

"It was my first-time leaving Vietnam, and I never expected such a bad thing to happen to me.” - Vu

Following a legitimate-looking job advert on social media, Vu left his home and his mother behind to work in Thailand.

Shockingly, when Vu met his recruiter, his food was drugged. He woke up in a car with no idea where he was.
"I woke up in the vehicle with my hands tied and realised I had been sold. It was dark, and I was scared.”

Pretending he was unwell, Vu persuaded the driver to briefly stop. He bravely seized the opportunity to cut his restraints with a shaving razor he kept in his pocket.

“I found myself in a jungle, disoriented and scared but determined to break free.”

Vu reached a village, where he desperately sought help. Eventually, using Google Translate, he managed to tell the Cambodian police that he’d been abducted.

With IJM’s support, Vu is now recovering from the traumatic events while staying at a local shelter and awaiting repatriation.

As Vu doesn’t know their real identity of the people who trafficked him, the case is pending under investigation awaiting future leads.

“Vu’s quick thinking and courage to escape are inspiring. But he could have very easily ended up in a severely dangerous and exploitative situation.

“His story sheds light on the urgent need for global efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking ''

- Sa Em Chum, IJM Cambodia Country Director


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