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Two orphanages shut

Two orphanages in Phnom Penh have been shuttered by the city’s social affairs department following complaints from children in their care.

Son Sophal, head of the municipality’s Social Affairs Department, said two non-governmental organisations were ordered to close on Monday after children reported not having enough to eat.

“On August 18, the Social Affairs Department decided to shut down two NGOs who raise children,” he said. “We found that those NGOs did not have a [memorandum of understanding] with the Ministry of Social Affairs and were raising children without enough food and poor techniques.”

He added that 12 children had told the department about the lack of food, prompting the authorities to search their records for documents showing the orphanages were operating legally. They weren’t.
“We cannot allow them to carry on looking after children,” Sophal said.

Orphanages have come under increased scrutiny because of allegations that some exploit children to draw cash from donors and volunteers.

Sophal added that children from the closed orphanages were sent to another NGO.

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