TRAFFICKED INTO SLAVERY

Mr. Youn Yum, 29, a Cambodian rice farmer who was trafficked and enslaved on a Thai fishing vessel. Moung commune, Srey Snom District, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Villagers scramble to get water given out by Italian NGO Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC). This year has been the worst draught that Cambodia has faced in 55 years with temperatures reaching as high as 44°C, at the time that I captured this image all 10 wells in the surrounding area were dry and the villagers were surviving purely on rain water. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
A group of young men escape the intense Cambodian heat. This year has been the worst draught that many Khmers can remember, with temperatures reaching as high as 42°C. With very little rain if any for 7 months people are finding it extremely hard to grow crops and provide for their families. At the time that I captured this image all 10 wells in the surrounding area were dry and the villagers were surviving purely on rain water. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
In a remote area of northern Cambodia a villager approaches our vehicle, earlier that day despite the risks involved, two cars full of 15 men and women left their homes to try their prospects of finding a higher rate of pay in Thailand. Moung Tboung Village, Moung commune, Srey Snom District, Siem Reap Province, cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels.
Mr. Youn Yum, 29, a Cambodian rice farmer who was trafficked and enslaved on a Thai fishing vessel. Moung commune, Srey Snom District, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Mr. Seuy Sann, 40. A Cambodian construction worker who was enslaved on a Thai fishing vessel. Kok Doun, Angkor Chum District, Siem Reap Province / All rights reserved © George Nickels.
Survivors of slavery onboard a Thai fishing vessel attend a self-help group as part of the safer migration programme run by the Italian NGO Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC). Char Chouk Village, Varin District, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
A formerly enslaved fisherman. Char Chouk Village, Varin District, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Villagers attending a self-help group as part of the safer migration programme run by the Italian NGO Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC). The majority of the participants that attend the monthly meetings are elderly or pregnant women due to the vast amount of men migrating to Thailand in hope of finding a higher wage in the construction trade or farming. / All rights reserved © George Nickels.
RCAF soldiers help migrant working families get out of Thai immigration vehicles as they arrive at the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodian labourers fled Thailand amid rumors of a violent crackdown on illegal workers, violent arrests and deportation of foreign workers especially Khmers. Many of them left the country in the back of military trucks with very little ventilation or on open-top trailers with no protective cover. Cambodian labourers are a major component of the work force in Thai industries including construction, fishing, and agriculture. Poipet, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels.
A baby suffering from malaria receives an intravenous drip. Her father left her and her sister with their mother one year ago in search of work in Thailand. They have had no contact with him since. Poung Rou Village, Srey Snom District, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels.
Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand need not only a passport, but a work permit a visa, an overseas Cambodian worker card and an employment contract. Char Chouk Village, Varin District, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
A family explains to me that even though the risks involved in trying to find employment and a higher wage in Thailand are high, they may have no choice than trying their prospects at going across the border. Char Chouk Village, Varin District, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Mr. Bot Loum, 40, A former rice farmer that spent six years onboard a Thai fishing vessel. Poung Rou Village, Srey Snom District, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Hair shampoo and soap is distributed to villagers attending a self-help group as part of the safer migration programme run by the Italian NGO Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC). The majority of the participants that attend the monthly meetings are elderly or pregnant women due to the vast amount of men migrating to Thailand in hope of finding a higher wage in the construction trade or farming. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Mr. Son Ron, 41, formerly an imprisoned fisherman. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Mr. Son Ron, 41, formerly an imprisoned fisherman. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Survivors of human trafficking and slavery on Thai fishing vessels take part in a self-help group as part of the safer migration programme run by the Italian NGO Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC). Char Chouk Village, Varin District, Cambodia. / All rights reserved © George Nickels
Top: Mr. Roum Touch, 41, a farmer that was enslaved on a Thai fishing vessel. “ Above: Mrs Touch, wife of Mr. Roum Touch. “I knew that there were risks involved in my husband trying to find work in Thailand, but we had a new born baby and were struggling to survive on the money that he earned as a construction worker in Cambodia. If I knew now that he was going to be kidnapped and made to work as a slave on a Thai vessel, I would have begged him to stay. I worried about his safety every day but i never thought that this would happen to our family.” Moung Tboung Village, Moung commune, Srey Snom District, Siem Reap Province. / All rights reserved © George Nickels

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George Nickels

George Nickels

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