PHNOM PENH: On February 25th, 2020, The Phnom Penh municipal court charged one Swedish national, aged 63, with the crimes of Purchase of Child Prostitution and Sexual Intercourse with Minor under Fifteen Years under Articles 34 and 42 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation; and one Cambodian woman, aged 33, with the crime of Procurement with regard to child Prostitution under Article 28 of the abovementioned law, which may pose a jail sentence of between 7 to 15 years in jail.
In July 25th, 2019, APLE received a report from a local NGO partner concerning the suspicion of a child being sexually exploited. APLE immediately commenced the investigation, and once enough evidence had been gathered, referred the case to the Anti Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection (AHTJP) police, while continuing to assist the police in the investigation of the possible crime. The victim and suspects were identified.
The 11-year-old girl victim disclosed sexual abuse, thus the police, with an approval letter from the court prosecutor, brought the two suspects, separately, for questioning at the police station. The suspects were placed at pre-trial detention.
The accused is the 14th foreign suspect from APLE cases to be detained since January 2018, given APLE’s expertise on the issue of Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism (SECTT); yet the majority of the offenders in Cambodia are Cambodian citizens. In APLE’s statistics of local offenders related to SECTT, there are 21 Cambodian citizens arrested in the same timeframe, mostly due to their roles in facilitating the child to the abuser. 45 child victims have also been rescued since January 2018 – 30 of them in 2018, 10 in 2019 and 5 child victims rescued in 2020 thus far.
APLE Cambodia and its partner organizations will continue to work with the victim in order to ensure her emotional and physical recovery, while APLE’s lawyers are currently offering legal aid services to the victim.