I am a Danish photographer who embarked on a photographic journey to document violence against women and human trafficking, and to give a voice to the women and the organizations that are raising awareness for this cause.
I am not a trained academic on the subject but I am a woman and a mother who finds it offensive that women today still suffer abuse, purely because of their sex.
And yes, it is a difficult subject, and sex is probably still somewhat of a taboo, but we need to talk. We need to talk about the violence and exploitation and the unimaginably high number of women trafficked as laborers, domestics and sexual slaves world wide; and we need to acknowledge that much of this is happening in our own back yard.
I began my work in Cambodia and Thailand where I concentrated on photographing survivors of exploitation ranging from human trafficking to domestic violence. I also met women that work in the local "karaoke bars," sex workers who wanted to tell me about their lives.
Ms. A was trafficked to Malaysia as a domestic hoping for a better future. Instead she was exploited, had her papers destroyed and forced to work long hours. She managed to escape back to her home in Cambodia and is still struggling to survive.
Ms. T told me she has "no hope." Her sister suggested she work as a "karaoke girl" to make ends meet. She has since had 3 children. While I was there, two nuns wanted to to buy her babies for adoption.
Ms. V is a "karaoke girl" who was 5 months pregnant when she stopped me in the street and took me to her hut. She doesn't know the father of the child and now cannot make a living.
Karaoke girl preparing for a nights work.
Survivor of trafficking.
Survivor of trafficking
This tribal girl is "stateless." To escape the traditional mountain life, girls go to the city, but are vulnerable to exploitation.
Akha tribal girls enjoying being photographed.
Tribal woman who wants an identity.
Who am I?
My journey then took me to northern Thailand where I captured images of girls who are stateless- without rights or identities- who are marginalized and vulnerable to trafficking.
I feel deeply honored that the women in these pictures wanted to talk to me. What I learned above all is that they want to be heard. They trusted me to tell their stories to make sure that this will not continue.
I was deeply touched by their strength, which made me determined to take this project worldwide so we can look at these women as the individuals they are, and not as statistics or numbers.
Go to these websites to learn about organizations helping these women:
To see more great photography visit HuffPost Exposure.
Follow Mette Lampcov on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mettelampcov