Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Institution-based sex crimes raise concerns

Institution-based sex crimes raise concerns

George Moussallie (top) arrives at Phnom Penh Municipal Court last year after an APLE investigation led to his arrest.
George Moussallie (top) arrives at Phnom Penh Municipal Court last year after an APLE investigation led to his arrest. Pha Lina

Institution-based sex crimes raise concerns

Institution-based sex crimes against children and the threat of online pedophiles are a “growing concern” in Cambodia, child protection organisation APLE said in its annual report yesterday.

“Over the past few years, we have observed more institution-based abuse in orphanages and schools,” said Seila Samleang, the executive director of APLE Cambodia.

Religious institutions have also been implicated after several high-profile exposures of alleged sex crimes by Buddhist monks, according to the National Police’s Child Protection Unit (CPU).

Threats are also emerging in the online world, with offenders grooming children before visiting Cambodia, APLE says.

James McCabe, the head of CPU, said that online pedophile networks are hard to infiltrate because new members are often required to post child porn to get in.

However, both McCabe and APLE said authorities had improved in gathering and preserving evidence, which helps to build stronger cases that rely less on victim testimony.

APLE’s report said that it rescued 62 victims, provided legal support to 211 and social support and rehabilitation to 406 in 2015. In 2014, the organisation rescued 58 victims, supported 489 victims legally and 464 victims socially.

For both years, the number of convicted suspects in APLE-handled cases was 27.

McCabe said that in 2015, CPU saw 295 child sexual abuse cases across 21 provinces.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a