New charity set to combat sex trafficking

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Cooranbong, New South Wales

A new humanitarian aid agency is working on a “very specific” goal of sex slavery prevention in Cambodia by providing local communities with long-term support and development.

There is a real and direct link between poverty, lack of education and sex slavery.

Years of civil war and human rights abuse have resulted in widespread poverty throughout the South East Asian country, forcing hundreds of women and girls into sex slavery in order to pay off debts.

The team at RestoreOne, a not-for-profit organisation based in Cooranbong, New South Wales, says the best way to prevent women from falling into the human trafficking industry is by meeting the basic needs of local communities.

“There is a real and direct link between poverty, lack of education and sex slavery,” said managing director Tanya Lawrence.

By training members of the local communities to develop their own sustainable agriculture programs, the team at RestoreOne hope to make a long-term and sustainable impact in Cambodia. The organisation also provides English language training, which serves as a doorway to stable employment opportunities in the country’s hospitality and tourism industries.

“There are no food handouts. There are no short term projects,” said Mrs Lawrence, a member of Memorial Adventist church in Cooranbong. “We are supporting communities for their own long-term prosperity.”

Aside from Cambodia, RestoreOne also has a developing program underway in Burma.

Australians of all ages are involved with RestoreOne, with some providing financial support and others travelling overseas as part of mission teams. There are several trips a year, including a “Schoolies Trip” in December for young people who have just finished Year 12.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit <restoreone.org.au>.