Panha's Story | International Justice Mission shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love
Back to Stories

Panha's Story

IJM Jan NL Storypage Hero image 2x web

“There’s Still Hope”

Help survivors like Panha rebuild their dreams.

Panha* worked hard on a farm in Cambodia, but he worried his earnings weren't enough for him to make ends meet. After a broker approached him, he wondered if he could make more money as a fisherman in Thailand.

Like the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians who migrate in search of work each year, Panha’s motivation was simple: “The jobs in Thailand are better, so I decided to go.” That decision nearly cost him his life. He was only 16.

At least 87.1 percent of fishermen in Thailand experience some form of exploitation and/or trafficking in their work at sea.

2022 PNH LBT 00041223 Panha Story Approved for Full Use

On the fishing boat, Panha often worked more than 12 hours at a time. He received only two meals a day and faced physical violence when he fell asleep. “If I was sleeping, the broker would pour water on me many times,” Panha recounts.

Unfortunately the worst was yet to come. One day, Panha's right hand was injured by a machine on the boat, leading to it being amputated at a local hospital.

Still, Panha returned to the boat to work, hoping to claim money he had earned but not been paid. Then, he faced yet another injustice: Panha’s promised salary was slashed from the equivalent of about $442 to less than $6.

Your support helps IJM work with survivors like Panha to bring their traffickers to justice. You also help provide aftercare programs that restore survivors and help them begin to rebuild.

Unable to do his job because of his injury, Panha returned to Cambodia — but never received his salary. IJM provided legal aid, and eventually the perpetrator in Panha’s case was sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay $4,800 as compensation.

IJM supporters also helped provide livelihood support and equipment so Panha can realize his dream of building his own home. Despite his disability, he continues to work on a local farm. He’s even started building a small grocery store in his village with livelihood support from IJM.

“When I lost my hand, I lost all my dreams,” Panha says. “But when IJM has helped me, I feel there’s still hope.”

Select or Enter Monthly Gift Amount:


Or give using your Donor–Advised Fund Donor-Advised Funds

Billing Information

Your Donation: $ + $0.46 fees

Card Information

Your Donation: $ + $0.46 fees

You are giving a one-time gift.

Give with confidence BBB Accredited Charity and Guidestar Platinum Participant

You might also be interested in…

see more

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

More Information

Petra Kooman

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at