HUN SEN has ordered an investigation into the release of four suspected baby
traffickers following a request by Minister for Women's and Veterans Affairs, Mu
"I sent a letter to the Prime Minister containing three
recommendations," she said.
The Prime Minister then instructed the
Council of Ministers (CoM) to take action. On September 12 the CoM directed the
Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior (MoI) to follow up the
investigation, based on the original police report.
The MoI was also
ordered to investigate the use of a website as a marketing tool in promoting
Asian Orphanage Association (AOA). The letter, signed by CoM secretary of state
Chea Sophorn, directs that the children are to remain in the care of Licadho and
other international organizations.
Sochua said that her ministry, which
launched an anti-trafficking initiative this week, will monitor implementation
of the recommendations.
Licadho has already been approached by the
mothers of two of the infants following publicity from the September 3 raid. The
human rights NGO has come under intense pressure this week to hand over 12
children taken in a recent raid on two Tuol Kork households suspected of
engaging in baby trafficking.
AOA director Puth Sereysaid he would
welcome an investigation.
"If my association is wrong I will request that
the government close my orphanage, but if the court finds that I've done the
right thing then Licadho should maybe close, and they should go to jail for a
long time," he told the Post.
"I will make a file to the court and
complain that they have kidnapped my children under the legal custody of my
orphanage and they violated the law," he said.
It is not the first time
the two organizations have clashed. In June last year Licadho investigated
allegations of baby buying against the orphanage.
Minister Sochua praised
Hun Sen for taking a strong stand.
"He is really concerned and very
committed to the issue of trafficking. All along he has given us full support,"
AOA representatives and Licadho are scheduled to discuss the
case with court officials today.