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Child Protection Unit reports on challenges, triumphs of past year

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CPU officials investigate a crime scene in 2021 in a photo posted on its Facebook on Monday. CPU

Child Protection Unit reports on challenges, triumphs of past year

The Child Protection Unit (CPU) has released its annual report on crimes against children, saying that they had been involved in the investigation of over 300 cases in 2021, resulting in nearly 300 arrests.

In a wrap-up report released on March 7, CPU said they had participated in 313 investigations into crimes against children with 268 suspects arrested – an arrest rate of 85 per cent. The NGO spent slightly more than $1.12 million on its work.

According to the report, the offences took place in the capital and 20 provinces, with Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang each having five locations of offences.

The report said the majority of the offences were committed by neighbours, with fathers being the second most likely offenders.

CPU executive director James McCabe said 2021 was a very challenging year. He personally thanked all who supported the organisation during the year, especially the Ministry of Interior and National Police, along with the international policing partners that provided expert opinions and advice on some very difficult, protracted and exhaustive investigations.

“There was some amazing work done in 2021 by the CPU and the Cambodian National Police in detecting, preventing and prosecuting persons who commit crimes against children,” he said.

The CPU said their annual report will be presented to the government, interior ministry, National Police and numerous relevant institutions.

“The report details all the work, investigations, prosecutions, services provided to victims, successes, achievements and failings of 2021,” it said.

Chou Bun Eng, interior ministry secretary of state and permanent vice-chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, said on March 7 that the CPU has always submitted credible reports to the ministry and had helped authorities investigate many crimes against children, often leading to the arrest and subsequent sentencing of perpetrators.

“We have seen an increase in crimes against children, and we have seen that some of these crimes seem to have become more aggressive. However, we have resolved almost 90 per cent of the crimes,” she said.

She added that the government and its partners, including the CPU, are committed to not just reducing crimes against children but also completely eradicating them.

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