While I was zoning out yesterday and waiting for snow to hit that was to shut down the Mid-Atlantic. It was Human Trafficking Day.
Bros Long, 17 years old, Svay Rieng Province. Long’s eye was wounded in 2005 when a pimp kicked her face. When her eye became dangerously infected, her mother brought her to the Takeo Hospital, where doctors removed her infected eye, leaving her disfigured and self-conscious. AFESIP brought Long into its care as a prevention case on December 28, 2005. Today, she is learning the textile trade and resides at the AFESIP Tom Dy Center, outside of Phnom Penh. Photograph © Norman Jean Roy, from Traffik.
Kantha Thy, 23 years old, Pnourg Commune, Svay Rieng Province. After a divorce from her husband, Thy quit working as a vegetable seller at Kandal Market and became a prostitute to support her two children and sick mother. For the last two years, she has been able to pay her mother’s hospital billsby working at the Vok Marbay Club, in Phnom Penh. In the future, when she has enough money, she hopes to sell groceries in her homeland again. Photograph © Norman Jean Roy, from Traffik.
Photographer Norman Jean Roy has worked closely with the Somaly Mam Foundation to document the victims of this heinous crime. Roy observes, “Slavery is about money, and criminal businessmen use slavery to boost their profits…. And slavery is a great business… The lives of these young women show how slaves today are cheap and disposable. Their disposability reflects a collapse in the price of slaves brought on by a glut on the world market. The fact is that slaves are cheaper today than they have ever been.”
Roy documented many of the women and children the Somaly Mam Foundation has freed in his book, Traffik (published by powerHouse Books). A selection of images appears in this release, to provide a human face to a global epidemic that affects of 27 million people around the world.
About the photographer
Norman Jean Roy was born in Canada and grew up on Montreal’s South Shore. A prominent portrait photographer for the past 15 years, Roy is the winner of numerous awards for his contributions to the world of editorial photography, including honors from the Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, and Photo District News. In 2007, he signed a contract with Condé Nast to shoot exclusively for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Men’s Vogue, Allure, and Glamour. Roy resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Joanna, and his three children. Traffik is his first book.