Todd Morrison (tddmorrison@gmail.com) has lived in South East Asia since 2010 with his wife and three sons. He has worked internationally with human rights issues in Malaysia and more recently, in Cambodia. Volunteering and consulting with various non-governmental organizations and coalition groups, his focus is advocacy and human rights among refugees, migrant workers, and the exploited. He has collaborated and contributed to various research involving marginalized people groups in Cambodia including the Butterfly Longitudinal Research project. In 2015, Todd joined an international organization in Cambodia managing and directing programs reaching out to sexually exploited and trafficked teenagers in Phnom Penh and other locations in Cambodia. Prior to moving to South East Asia, he spent 12 years working in various roles as a group manager, project manager, and team leader with an International Corporation.

Lim Vanntheary holds a double bachelor’s degree in Sociology and English Education in addition to a Master of Development Studies, all from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Beginning work on the Butterfly Longitudinal Research in 2011 as part of Butterfly’s original research team, she spent over nine years conducting interviews, analyzing data, producing reports, and giving presentations for the project. From 2015-2019, she was leading the Research Project as Project Manager and Researcher. She is currently a Project Assistant at International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Nhanh Channtha was Assistant Project Manager for Butterfly Research Project from 2014 to 2019. In this role, she conducted interviews, data analysis, and disseminated findings. She holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a master’s degree in Holistic Child Development from Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently, she is working with Mission Alliance, Cambodia as a program officer, focused on education and child protection.

James Havey (james.havey@chabdai.org ) is the Project Advisor for the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project. Now residing in London, James spent seven years based out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a modern slavery researcher and LGBTQ advocate, studying topics covering the demand for the sex industry, sexual violence against men and boys, and trafficking survivor rehabilitation, skills training, and employability. Beginning in autumn 2021, James will be attending the University of Kent studying Masters of Business Administration, specializing in Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical procurement.

Glenn Miles, Research Associate, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies drglennmiles@gmail.com Glenn has around 25 years of experience focused on child abuse and exploitation in SE Asia. He has pioneer-led three NGOs in Cambodia and has facilitated a series of research projects listening to survivors of sexual exploitation both prostituted men, women, boys, girls, and transgender and also men sex buyers in SE Asia. He does training, and evaluation of programs and teaches and supervises up to the Ph.D. level. He is a co-founder and academic advisor to the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project since its inception www.gmmiles.co.uk


Across the globe, human trafficking survivors have reported facing stigma and discrimination after reintegrating into communities. What makes stigma particularly dangerous is that it threatens what is “most at stake” in our lives, our close personal relationships and our personal life values. This paper explores longitudinal data from the Chab Dai Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project to document and describe forms of stigma and discrimination faced by survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking living in Cambodian communities. Our research suggests stigmas associated with sex trafficking are a “fundamental determinant” of social inequality for many female survivors following reintegration. In this study, 56 women survivors discussed their encounters with stigma and discrimination interspersed with coping strategies and resilience attributes used to navigate life experiences. The majority (70%) spoke about contending with cultural stigma together with stigma from human trafficking experiences. Four main stigma causes dominated survivor narratives: gender, sex work, socioeconomic status, and marriageability. We use these causes, in combination with the voices of survivors, to develop a conceptual model of cohort experiences with stigma in Cambodia. Many survivors are conscious of negative stereotypes in their home communities before trafficking and discuss their struggles with self-stigmatizing thoughts and labels as they reintegrate back into their communities. Survivor discussions regarding stigmas associated with sex work show intense and persistent stigma layered over existing cultural stigmas and connected with a wide variety of societal discrimination and negative outcomes. This assessment identifies multiple disadvantaged outcomes for survivors in education, relationships, marital rights, and gender-based violence. We argue that these outcomes impact survivors' access/barriers to resources and life conditions related to job skills, employment opportunities, improving their socioeconomic status, mental and physical health, and other perceptions of family harmony, societal honor, and personal well-being.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.