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The Learning to Impact the Forgotten and Excluded (LIFE) Initiative was undertaken by World Vision US between 2007 and 2010 in Albania, Georgia, Cambodia, India, Myanmar and Mexico. The project aimed to develop a basket of evidence based practices within the field of child protection. The project in Cambodia described herein was undertaken in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Applied Mental Health Research Group.
In August 2007, in collaboration with students of the Sociology Department at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, a qualitative study was undertaken with survivors of trafficking, sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). Undertaken in 5 residential facilities, the study aimed to identify from the perspective of the girls what problems most significantly affect them, and what behaviours, attributes or activities provide an indication that such children are now doing well. The qualitative methodologies of Free-Listing and Key Informant Interviewing were employed. The most prominent problems described by the children were in regard to their experience of symptoms of mental distress, psychosocial problems, and, as articulated by a number of young women, the problem of being ‘hated by society’.