Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Acid services reduced



Acid services reduced

Tes Pha, the victim of a severe acid attack in Battambang
Tes Pha, the victim of a severe acid attack in Battambang, sits on a bed at the Children’s Surgical Centre in Phnom Penh last year. Hong Menea

Acid services reduced

With acid attacks in steep decline – not a single attack has been recorded so far this year – the only organisation working directly with acid survivors on the ground is scaling back its services by 75 per cent.

Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) is no longer providing educational support for the children of survivors, transportation to the organisation’s monthly survivor support meetings and has reduced its staff by one employee.

“As a whole, we have scaled down, but we’re still providing services, just on a limited scale,” said Erin Bourgois, a program manager at CASC, adding that the organisation intended to make sure that “no one was left behind”.

The Kingdom’s reported number of acid attacks has fallen significantly. After peaking at 27 in 2010, only three were recorded last year.

Funding has been rolled back as a result, said Bourgois, but remains available if needed.

“We’re hoping the government will take the lead in providing medical support to survivors through the Ministry of Health, and psychosocial services through the Ministry of Social Affairs, which is outlined under the Acid Law,” Bourgois said.

But at least one government ministry spokesman charged with providing aid to acid survivors said no program tailored to victims of an acid attack or accident existed.

“This ministry has no such program for helping acid victims,” said Ngoun Sokkry, a communications officer for the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Health Minister Man Bun Heng and Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth could not be reached for comment.

Ou Virak, Cambodian Center for Human Rights chairman, urged caution when it comes to relying on the government to provide the support services necessary to rehabilitate acid survivors.

“The government has a tradition of exporting basic rights like medical services to NGOs instead of stepping up and solving the problem themselves,” he said. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MOM KUNTHEAR

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a