Two child beggars who were beaten each time they failed to bring home $50 in daily takings were rescued from their violent and drunken father in Siem Reap town last Thursday, an NGO worker said yesterday.
Chao Leak Vanna, provincial investigator for rights group Licadho, said the two boys, aged 17 and 13, had been subjected to cruel beatings for many years before their father fled last week after neighbours complained to police.
“The father, 50, fled from his home after finding out that police and officials [from Licadho and Friends International] were going to rescue them,” Leak Vanna said.
The two boys were forced to beg for money from tourists at Angkor Thom to feed their father’s wine habit, he added.
“The boys said their father ordered them to earn $50 per day and would beat them if they didn’t.”
Leak Vanna said neighbours had told him that in the past they had been too scared to intervene because the man’s wife died five years ago after suffering severe domestic abuse.
Police previously had asked the man to thumbprint a document asking him not to beat his sons, Leak Vanna said.
“The older boy is being treated in hospital,” he said, adding both boys were skinny and small for their age and had scars and marks from being beaten by belts and sticks.
Kokchak commune police chief Chhoum Samban said police were searching for the father.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at firstname.lastname@example.org