Marie Cammal, coordinator of a local NGO, is appealing for help in locating a girl
who has been missing from the center for young girls since Khmer New Year.
The 14-year-old girl, Touch Srey Naa, had been living at the NGO's center for five
years after being abandoned by her mother. Cammal, who did not want the NGO identified,
fears she may have met the same fate as her older sister who, she said, was sold
by her mother to a Spanish man in his forties and taken to Barcelona two years ago.
That man has since died but Cammal said she suspected that Sdaeng, the older sister,
returned to Cambodia with another Spanish man with the aim of luring Srey Naa out
of the country and into marriage with a third Spanish national.
"After the first daughter was sold her mother told me: 'I want my other daughter
to go to Spain and in a few years I will do it again'," Cammal said.
Cammal believed that Sdaeng, who was 14 at the time she left the country, was probably
provided with false papers.
"She didn't have a passport and was underage, but she still ended up in Barcelona.
How did they do that?" she asked.
Last year the girls' grandfather told staff at the NGO that Sdaeng would be returning
to Cambodia for Khmer New Year and traveling with a friend of her recently deceased
Srey Naa was last seen by the center's staff on March 10 when she went to stay with
her grandfather for the holiday period. Since then her mother has offered a variety
of different stories as to her daughter's whereabouts, first claiming she was in
Sihanoukville, then that she was in Battambang at an unknown address.
The French Embassy, which represents Spanish citizens in Cambodia, told Cammal that
no-one had yet sought a visa for the girl.
Cammal is appealing for anyone who sees the girl to report it to her center. Srey
Naa is about 150 centimeters tall and speaks very good English. Marie Cammal can
be contacted on 012 871752.