US news outlet CNN has rejected claims it peddled false news about Cambodian child sex trafficking in a recent television segment, with a spokesperson yesterday saying that “we stand by our reporting”.
The Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department on Friday said it would investigate Christian anti-trafficking organisation Agape International Missions, accusing it of fabricating the story in order to raise funds.
The announcement was made in the wake of a CNN story that retraced the steps of women rescued and supported by AIM who were interviewed for a 2013 documentary. The report, initially given the online headline The Cambodian girls sold for sex by their mothers, featured ethnic Vietnamese women, and the headline was later changed.
“The stories revisit our original investigation from 2013 and clearly highlight the progress that has been made since by the authorities in Cambodia,” a CNN spokesperson said yesterday. “We stand by our reporting.”
The report noted the positive steps that had been taken in the once-notorious Svay Pak, with AIM’s Eric Meldrum telling CNN that “police are doing a good job”. The NGO has previously been praised by the anti-trafficking office for their assistance.