Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Acid survivors forum tries to dispel stigma

Acid survivors forum tries to dispel stigma

Acid survivors forum tries to dispel stigma

Beyond burns that scar and even debilitate for a lifetime, acid survivors face misunderstandings that lead to negative judgments and a lack of employment opportunities, representatives say.

Srey Oun, 33, who was blinded in an acid attack by her sister’s business competitor, said acid victims, especially women, were often not seen as victims, but as inviting attacks with loose behaviour.

“Almost all acid survivors are accused of being involved in a love triangle. This makes me want to hide myself from society,” she told attendees of the Ending Acid Violence and Discrimination of Acid Survivors forum held on Saturday by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights at Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Cham town.

“I do not want to go out because I don’t want to tell others that I am an acid survivor.”

CCHR project coordinator Sorn Ramana said yesterday that many people wrongfully stereotype acid survivors.

“They [society] lack education so they look down or discriminate against victims when they see their appearance,” she said.

The forum, at which four acid survivors spoke, aimed to raise the awareness of students and residents of Kampong Cham – a hotspot for acid incidents due to its many rubber plantations, which use acid in rubber processing – of acid violence and its impact on survivors, she said.

Survivors also called on the Cambodian government to provide livelihood opportunities, as employers often shied away from hiring survivors due to their appearances.

“Provide a centre for us to work or find us a market, because we produce goods in CASC, but we do not have the market to sell them,” said Srey Oun.

Despite NGOs like the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity giving survivors production opportunities, buyers often were not interested as they doubted the quality of the products, said Sorn Ramana.

The forum was also organised to reinforce the passing of the new acid law in December, meant to regulate access to acid and more strictly punish perpetrators of acid attacks, said Sorn Ramana.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release