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Cambodia

Um Nit, a survivor of forced marriage during the Khmer Rouge's "Killing Fields" rule between 1975 and 1979, washes dishes at a water pump at her home in Svay Rieng province, Cambodia. Now in her 50s, Um Nit had never set eyes on the man she married until her wedding day. | Pring Samrang

Net Savoen still wakes up screaming, reliving the evening she and about 30 other women were dragged to a forest by Khmer Rouge cadres. The women had been resting after a day of digging a pit in the sweltering heat. The soldiers tied their hands and raped them. When they were done, they began slitting the women's throats. Savoen was the last to be taken.

Photo: The Cambodian Committee of Women (CAMBOW)

The Cambodian Committee for Women (CAMBOW), a coalition of 35 NGOs, says that the government has achieved little measureable progress in improving conditions for women. Rape and sex trafficking is pervasive and gender-violence affects almost every aspect of a woman's life.

Acid-attack-victim

On 28 January, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Sreyda's ex-husband Be Soeun to five years in prison for intentional violence using acid and ordered him to pay 10 million riel (US$2,500), after he threw battery acid on her face, chest and back when she told him she planned to remarry.

Be Soeun was the first person prosecuted under Cambodia's acid control law - adopted in December 2011 - and received the maximum sentence, based on his charge.

Alexander Trofimov smokes a cigarette after his verdict at the Phnom Penh municipal court, March 14, 2008. | Photo: AFP

Cambodian authorities are working with Moscow to deport a notorious Russian paedophile arrested this week with an underage girl just months after he was pardoned by King Norodom Sihamoni following his conviction of sexually abusing more than a dozen  girls.

Before his arrest in October 2007, Trofimov was chairman of a Russian-led investment group developing a Cambodian tourist island.

A Cambodian girl holds a banner next to a boy as former residents of the Dey Krahorm community gather in front of the site where they used to live before being evicted by government forces in Phnom Penh January 24, 2012. | Photo: Reuters

A 14-year-old girl was shot and killed following a violent land eviction in the Cambodian countryside.

The shooting happened as armed police tried to clear roughly 1,000 villagers from their land in the northeastern province of Kratie, according to rights groups.

lavoratrici-cambogiane

"Cambodian men are fuelling the flow of underage girls joining the sex trade."

Sarvina Kang, in Phnom Penh, talks about her work with Soroptomists International to halt the sex trade of young girls in Cambodia.

Protest in Phnom Penh

Nget Chhon, 71, was surprised, but not afraid, when anti-riot police punched her in the eye and beat her over the head during a protest against forced land evictions.

“We believed that if the women go to protest instead of the men the police wouldn't hit us,” Nget said. “But they do.

Relatives of Khmer Rouge victims take part in an emotional prayer ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Net Saveoun was 18 when she was gang raped by Khmer Rouge soldiers. She was one of 30 women selected to "carry salt" and taken to the forest in Pursat province, western Cambodia in 1978.

Each of them was beaten, brutalised and had their throat slit before being tossed into an open grave.

But to the frustration of both victims and campaigners, rape and sexual violence have been broadly excluded from UN-backed trials currently being conducted in the country.

Prach Vothy has been living with HIV since 2000 and struggles to provide for her family. | Photo: David Swanson/IRIN

Prach Vothy, a single mother of two living with HIV, is struggling to make ends meet.

Food for herself and her family is often little more than a bowl of boiled water lilies – one of the cheapest items in the local market.