Four children were removed yesterday from Bethel Children’s Home of Cambodia and the centre’s director was arrested in Chhbar Ampov following a complaint alleging child abuse and neglect, including forced labour and sexually inappropriate conduct.
Em Chanmakara, a secretary general of the Disability Action Council at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said three boys and one girl, between 5 and 10, were removed from the home in response to a complaint made by Chloe Flanagan, a donor and the founder of the centre, which opened in 2014.
The document states that director Soy Srey On, 23 – who was arrested – and her boyfriend, Ung Sras, 24, neglected the children’s hygiene and hit children with sticks, including a child who is mentally and physically disabled.
“Both [parties] are involved in beating the children, forcing them to clean toilets, and clean the centre, which is overwork for children,” Chanmakara said.
“They even had sex with each other and let children watch.”
Chanmakara said the donor provided about $500 each week for the children’s meals and school expenses, but the couple had “pocketed” the money.
He added that is the second complaint filed for the same accusations.
“The Ministry of Social Affairs will request to the Interior Ministry to close down this NGO,” he added.
The children have been sent to M’lup Russey children’s organisation and authorities are seeking to arrest Ung Sras.