Hundreds of thousands of women from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar have gone to China to wed. Some end up happily married; others speak of violence and forced labor.
Survivors who return to Cambodia often decide against filing police complaints because they fear implicating their relatives in criminality.
"We cannot depend on any authority or any procedures inside the country to protect the rights of workers," said Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions.
Chinese President Xi told Cambodian PM Hun Sen he would push bilateral trade to $10 billion and strengthen political, economic and security cooperation between the countries.
Brussels began a formal procedure in October to strip the country’s special trade status over concerns for human rights, democracy and rule of law.
For some of the newly freed women, keeping their baby is a burden as they struggle to get by. For others, it is a relief.
The staff of one factory in Siem Reap get benefits such as childcare and work in environmentally friendly buildings — utterly normal in many countries; equally rare in Cambodia.
China, Cambodia's most important diplomatic and economic backer, has endorsed a vote heavily criticized by rights groups and several Western countries as neither free nor fair.
Records show the army chief's wife held shares in a Cayman Islands company set up to own her Cambodian coal mine. The army chief is now running for public office.
The countries called on Cambodia to reinstate the main opposition party, release its jailed leader and ensure a July general election is free and fair.