One Woman's Journey to Save Child Slaves

Former child prostitute Somaly Mam has made it her mission to rescue victims of sex slavery throughout the world

Born in northeastern Cambodia, Somaly Mam's life story offers bleak insight into the ravages of poverty. (Somaly Mam Foundation)

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Although Mam still travels for conferences and interviews, she has her team handle much of AFESIP's media relations. Now, she focuses on talking with and providing comfort to the girls who arrive at the shelters. Despite her years of activism, Mam says she always carries the memory of her past with her, and only talking about it can keep those memories at bay.

"When I listen to the girls I feel like they are my own self," she says. "Sometimes I feel tired when I close my eyes and I know people are still raping and abusing."

About Anika Gupta
Anika Gupta

Anika Gupta’s writing has appeared in India and the United States, including in Business Today magazine, where she served as its first digital content editor, the Hindustan Times newspaper and Smithsonian magazine. Currently, she is a Master's student at MIT, where she studies user-generated content and mainstream media culture. She's also a science writer, media blogger, and essayist.

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