John Morrissey (jgmorrissey@gmail.com) is a Research Consultant for the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project and is the lead author for this research piece. He manages a residential facility for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Ireland. He has over 15 years of experience in child protection, working directly with children in crisis intervention services and emergency care. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from University College Dublin and Master’s Degree in International Development from Dublin City University.

James Havey (james.havey@chabdai.org) is the Project Management Advisor for the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project. He is an anti-human trafficking researcher specializing in: re/integration policy and practice; community-based aftercare; the demand for sex industry; and, male and trans-female abuse victims. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs: Development Studies from Marquette University.

Glenn Miles, Ph.D., Research Associate, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (drglennmiles@gmail.com) and Senior Researcher for up! International. Glenn has around 30 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

Lim Vanntheary (lvanntheary@gmail.com) 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 and from 2015-2019, Vanntheary was leading the Research Project as Project Manager and Researcher. Now, she is a Project Assistant at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Nhanh Channtha (nhanh.channtha@gmail.com) is the Assistant Project Manager for Butterfly Research Project since 2014. She has conducted interviews, data analysis, and disseminated findings. She has co-authored numerous publications. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Sociology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a master’s degree in Holistic Child Development from MBTS, Malaysia. Currently, she is working with Mission Alliance, Cambodia focused on children’s education and protection.


This research from the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project focused on understanding the experiences and perceptions of justice and the justice system for 93 Cambodia participants (including 88 survivors of sex trafficking) as they navigated the legal system. Thirty-two of these survivors had experiences in court and provided details into their courtroom experiences, predominantly within Cambodia but also in the United States. The survivors’ experiences were diverse; however, the prevailing themes were: fear throughout their legal journeys; a low level of awareness and understanding of their legal experiences; and that NGO support was essential for these survivors to engage in the often complicated, lengthy and emotionally challenging legal processes. The recommendations generated from the results at the individual survivor level included: encouraging active participation to make informed decisions on their legal journey; survivors need compassionate support from all stakeholders throughout their legal journey; questioning needs to be appropriate, sensitive and age appropriate; and survivor safety needs to be central both in the courtroom and in the community, as perpetrators and their associates may be threatening. At a wider, societal level, the legal system should be accessible and encourage victim participation. Further, the outcomes of court should be adequate for survivors, in that they provide justice, restitution and deter future crimes; trust in the legal system needs to be developed; information and education about the legal system and legal rights should be promoted; and protection for survivors must be enhanced.

Creative Commons License

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