Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Incidence of facts and objectivity

Incidence of facts and objectivity

Incidence of facts and objectivity

Your article "Law enforcement strives for better forensics" (Post September

24), which was about how scientific facts - collecting forensic evidence - can assist

police, was spoilt by your reporter making a statement which is not supported by

any statistically valid or scientific facts.

The incidence (expressed as a number per 100,000 population) of sexual assault in

Cambodia has never been calculated and is therefore not known; it could only be described

as high if the incidence rate in Cambodia was compared with other countries. Also,

the age band 0-15 years, used by statisticians for respected organizations such as

UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA and WHO to denote children, has not been used by LICADHO; as

a result the LICADHO numbers are statistically useless and cannot serve as any guide

to the true incidence of sexual assault.

My guess-and it is only a guess-is that the incidence of sexual assault in Phnom

Penh is far lower than the incidence in, for example, New York, so it should make

the reader ask the question: who benefits from erroneously portraying Cambodia as

a country where "the incidence of sexual assault ... is disturbingly high"?

I know it is easier for a reporter to regurgitate what has been fed to him/her by

an NGO, but it would contribute more to society's understanding of a problem if the

reporter made an effort to research the facts and report independently with objectivity.

Sadly, I believe better forensics will not make any difference because the root problem

is corruption, corruption and corruption; corrupt government, corrupt courts, corrupt

police, corrupt NGOs and now an opportunity for corrupt doctors.

Touch Bunnil - Phnom Penh

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