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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minors main targets of rape: rights group

Minors main targets of rape: rights group

THE majority of rape cases investigated by local rights group Adhoc this year were committed against minors by a relative or close acquaintance, according a year-end report released last week.

Of the 400 cases Adhoc investigated in 2008, some 280 alleged victims were under the age of 18, and the suspected perpetrator usually was a relative or close acquaintance, the report said, adding that investigations led to charges against 54 people.  

The group said it will submit the report to the government urging it to step up efforts to combat the incidence of sexual assault.

Lim Mony, an official at Adhoc, said the incidence of cases of sexual abuse had risen since last year but could not be stated precisely, as the group's statistical categories have changed.

She attributed the rise to a broken system in which "criminals are not punished ... and this causes a breakdown in the morality of our society.

"We will try to persuade and argue in order to have ineffective law enforcement strengthened," Lim Mony said.

Ith Rady, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, defended the work of state authorities, including the practice commonly encouraged by police of justice through cash compensation, where the perpetrator pays the victim instead of going to court.

"In principle ... it means that the justice is given."



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