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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hotline cold comfort

Hotline cold comfort

I am writing to express my concern for the youth and thus the future of

Cambodia. It's a relief to see organizations such as UNICEF doing large-scale

campaigning encouraging the reporting and persecution of pedophiles. But I have

became disillusioned for it was in Phnom Penh that I attempted to make a report

with no success.

At my hotel I saw a middle-aged man with a girl aged 13

to 15. Following the advice of many printed ads on maps, stickers and posters. I

called the hotline three times. Firstly I rang to make my report. But no-one

spoke English. So I asked for help. I had the bar attendant explain the

situation. She phoned for me. The man in the office told her in Khmer that

no-one speaks English in this office. So she explained my report in Khmer. The

result of my effort was that it would be investigated the next day by which time

it would just be another bad memory for this girl. All the advertisements are

written in English, but it's not possible to help if no-one speaks English.

Sylvia Bartthelmess

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