Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Holiday brings street sweeps

Holiday brings street sweeps

Holiday brings street sweeps

In an effort to “clean” Phnom Penh’s streets ahead of the coming Pchum Ben celebrations, authorities in Daun Penh district yesterday rounded up 27 homeless people.

Kim Vutha, district security chief, told the Post that authorities conducted the roundup in Wat Phnom, Srah Chak, Boeung Raing and Chey Chumneah communes and sent the 27 to Phnom Penh’s Social Affairs Department.

“We collected them because Pchum Ben starts on Tuesday this week, and we will have a lot of people coming to the pagoda. We are afraid of them disturbing [preparations] or stealing or whatever, which is bad for public order,” Vutha said.

According to Vutha, in August alone authorities in Daun Penh rounded up more than 100 people and sent them to the Social Affairs Department.

Son Sophal, director of the department, said people rounded up were sent there so they could be “re-educated”.

Often “they do not listen to what we explain … [and] still go back to the same place to be beggars”, he said.

But, he admitted, the centre does not have the capacity to offer any training, and people are merely ordered to sign a contract promising to get off of the streets before being sent back again.

Since June, dozens of people have been rounded up as part of an organised “street sweep” aimed at ridding Phnom Penh of beggars, street sellers and homeless adults and children.

The initiative was packaged as an effort to combat human trafficking and to offer useful vocational training. But the Post found that children as young as 7 were taken to the city’s notorious Prey Speu centre against their will.

Officials have repeatedly denied that Prey Speu was used, but admitted plans to use the facility in future roundups.

A member of staff at the centre told the Post yesterday that there had been no new arrivals.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At