Cambodia: The Virginity Trade

'Cambodia: The Virginity Trade' is the compelling and utterly alarming account of the lives of girls and women affected by the virginity trade that exists in Cambodia today. Many Asian men believe that obtaining a virgin girl for sex will grant them extra health and luck. Subsequently, there is a huge demand for young Cambodian girls, and a virgin girl can be worth as much as twelve hundred dollars. Some families even sell their own daughters to brokers as they are too poor to feed them and the lure of the money on offer is too much to refuse.

Each interview in ‘Cambodia: The Virginity Trade’ is an intimate and frank account of the complexities of this terrible problem, which has become ingrained in Khmer culture. Mothers explain why they are driven to sell their daughters, the Cambodian chief of anti-trafficking discusses what is being done to combat the problem, young Cambodian men describe how they prey on the vulnerability of sex workers as a recreational past-time, and innocent girls explain their inner-most feelings at being victims of such a horrific trade. We also learn through interviews with the perpetrators how and why many Cambodian men believe that having sex with a virgin girl will give him youth and 'special powers'. Through incredible access with the victims and the perpetrators, we learn what has lured both men and women into this highly lucrative but tragic trade.

A special charitable fund has been set up to raise money for female victims of the virginity trade all over Cambodia. Through this fund, and with the assistance of The Cambodian Centre for the Protection of Children's Rights (
CCPCR), we aim to rescue and rehabilitate victims all over the country.

To make a donation to the Cambodia fund, please follow this link;
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Written, Produced & Directed by
Matthew Watson
Camera Matthew Watson
Additional Camera Song Sopheakdey Khem Sophal Tob Mony
Editors Justinian Buckley Matthew Watson
Online Editor and Colourist Andy Lee
Production Assistant A Sva Khmoa
Driver Hang Ratana
Sound Editor Gernot Furhmann
Dubbing Mixer Mark Paterson
Music Composed & Performed by John Paesano Jr
Translators Chhin Nith Nou Sovan Soly Vanpok
Executive Producers Gemma O’Neill Neil Gardiner
Production Company Zealot Films
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