Cases of sex trafficking, rape and attempted rape against women slightly increased in Cambodia from 2011 to 2012, according to a report released yesterday.
The report, prepared by the National Council for Women, was distributed to hundreds of senior government officials and legislators at the Peace Palace. It includes data from 24 municipal and provincial courts nationwide.
It calls on the Ministry of Justice to create an awareness campaign about the law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation that would help judges, prosecutors, clerks, police and military police in their daily work.
“It would help authorities collect information about the law and about relevant trials involving women,” Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kuntha Phavi wrote in her report.
“Only the Appeal Court has paid attention to lawsuits related to women and children as a priority in order to immediately bring justice and defence rights to women and children.”
Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Chive Keng said the number of lawsuits involving sex trafficking and rape had jumped from 1,058 in 2011 to 1,119 in 2012, but opposition MP Mu Sochua said the rates would be higher if all cases were reported.
“In the villages I visit, I always hear about rape. I’m sure not all the cases are in the report,” she said.
“When I ask, ‘Did you report?’ they say: ‘No... we’re still afraid because the perpetrator is still [free].’ ”
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at firstname.lastname@example.org