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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Children need more safeguards: premier

Children need more safeguards: premier

Following a number of brutal reports of child abuse this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday called for more safeguards against such violence, including at orphanages.

Referencing the arrest of a monk on Wednesday who allegedly tortured a 9-year-old pagoda boy in Banteay Meanchey over a period of several months, the prime minister called on the Ministry of Social Affairs and provincial governors to address child abuse prevention before the “problem” escalates.

“I suggest all places pay more attention, not just to the Ministry of Social Affairs but also the relevant authorities and people who protect children,” Hun Sen said yesterday.

Reurn Rithiroth, an administrative director for the Ministry of Social Affairs’ national adoption program, said the ministry would set up a team dedicated to clarifying the “conditions” and “characters” of the people who want to adopt children.

But with only one social worker for every 25,000 adoption applicants, the Kingdom must dedicate more resources to adoption cases, Rana Flowers, a Unicef representative, said yesterday.

“Guidance on how judges interpret laws . . . is really needed, as is more oversight in how orphanages are run and if those children are actually without families,” Flowers said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AMELIA WOODSIDE

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