Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Editor



The Editor

The Editor

The Editor,

We are writing to correct some errors and misapprehensions

in your story on the case of Gavin Scott, in your last edition.

We are

concerned that the press and the lawyer Robert Carlin are once again

misrepresenting the facts by suggesting that the complaint against Scott was

brought by just one NGO. In fact, the evidence lodged with the police was in the

name of 12 local and international NGOs acting on behalf of the children, under

the umbrella of End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT). ECPAT Cambodia

forms part of an international coalition of child care NGOs seeking to take

action to protect children from sexual exploitation. All the 12 NGOs involved in

supporting the complaint have co-operated in protecting and accommodating the

children, and providing evidence for the court.

ECPAT Cambodia would like

to remind your readers that all evidence lodged with the authorities has always

been the result of in-depth investigations and collation of information which

includes corroboration from witnesses. The decision to investigate and alert the

authorities is fully justified, in this case as in others, by complaints from

child victims from whom we were able to collect testimonies that were serious,

precise and corroborated by the accumulation of other evidence.

We are

surprised at the claim that Gavin Scott had difficulty in getting a lawyer,

since according to the Phnom Penh court, Scott had a Khmer defender from the

first day he was arrested. The ECPAT NGOs fully support the right of Gavin Scott

to legal representation, and have certainly not sought in any way to prevent his

being represented. The reason the Cambodian Defenders Project had a conflict of

interest was that an approach had already been made by a member of ECPAT to see

if CDP could provide a lawyer for the children for the civil case.

We

emphasize that ECPAT has no political agenda or discrimination on the basis of

sexual orientation, but merely seeks to prevent the abuse of minors, both boys

and girls, by adults, in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the

Child and the Cambodian Constitution. We dispute the idea that children involved

in these cases are less to be believed because they are Cambodian and street

children. The law should be applied consistently and allowed to take its course,

regardless of whether the plaintiffs or defendants are Cambodian or foreign,

rich or poor, homosexual or heterosexual.

Children are the future of

Cambodia. Lets protect the children.

- ECPAT Cambodia.

(ECPAT does itself a disservice by blaming

the Post for "errors". The article twice referred to "NGOs" - plural - involved

in invstigating Gavin Scott. In fact, Licardho was one of two NGOs primarily

involved in the investigation. As for ECPAT's misunderstanding that Scott had a

Khmer defender (Sam Sophal), a simple telephone call to Sophal from the Post

established that he was not in fact defending Scott. - Ed.)

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from