A two-day hearing to assess Cambodia’s record on preventing various forms of child abuse and the exploitation of children was launched Monday by the United Nations’ Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Lauren Crothers Monday, January 12, 2015
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – A two-day hearing to assess Cambodia’s record on preventing various forms of child abuse and the exploitation of children was launched Monday by the United Nations’ Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
A statement released by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said: “Among the possible issues to be discussed by the CRC and the delegation from the Cambodian Government [are] protection of children from sex tourism exploitation, trafficking for sex and for labor; child prostitution in entertainment venues and child pornography widely available online.”
The statement, disseminated by the Office’s Phnom Penh base last week, said the “regular examination” is a requisite for Cambodia having ratified two protocols in addition to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
One focuses on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, while the other is about the use of children in armed conflict.
The Cambodian government had been asked to provide updates on a series of issues raised by the CRC – including the number of children found to have been forced into prostitution, labor, organ transfer or pornography.
In a written reply, which comes as part of a set of supporting documents to the hearing, Cambodia said it took note of 86 cases of sex with a minor between 2011 and 2013, but that only 13 of these happened in 2013.
“A total of 54 offenders were sentenced to less than or equal to five years, and 14 offenders were sentenced from five to 15 years” in prison, it added.
The paper also said 45 children were victims in 24 cases of child pornography during the same period.
Another of the supporting documents filed to the CRC is a 2013 report compiled by child protection representatives.
It found that “the sale of children in any form remains a great concern whilst child prostitution is often hidden under the disguise of using the locations of beer garden, nightclub, karaoke parlors, café shops, massage parlors and in private.”
It also said that it is very difficult to monitor the prevalence of child pornography, primarily because it is “secretly filmed and shared on phones.”
Nearly 44 percent of children in seven provinces told the authors that they personally witnessed or heard about the sale of children, while 25 percent of children in three provinces said they were aware of cases where children were forced to have sex in exchange for phones or money.
The conclusions of the assessment are expected Feb. 4, according to the OHCHR.
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