Phnom Penh: On February 19th of 2019, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged two Cambodian women aged 37 and 45 years old with aggravated procurement of child prostitution as mandated in the Art.27 of Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation and Art.288 of the Criminal Code of The Kingdom of Cambodia). The court has ordered the provisional detention of the brokers at Prey Sar prison, while awaiting further procedures.
In early January of 2019, a neighbour of the victim reported to have repeatedly witnessed how one of the brokers, who is the mother of the victim, took her 13 year old daughter to a guesthouse on different occasions, normally at early morning, between 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. The civil informant, concerned about the safety of the girl, reported his suspicion to APLE. Immediately, APLE referred the case to the Phnom Penh Anti Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit for further investigation.
The police commenced the investigation, in which APLE assisted by collecting evidence. Based on such evidence, it was known that the girl was introduced to her client at the hotel by another broker, who is a neighbour in the victim’s community.
On February 16th of 2019, the victim’s mother brought the girl to the guesthouse again. Col. Keo Thea, Chief of the Phnom Penh AHTJP Unit, intervened and brought both the victim and the mother from the guesthouse to the police station in order to interrogate and interview accordingly.
Before the police, the mother confessed to have sold her daughter to one client for $3,000, amount which she shared with another broker who introduced her to the client. The mother also confessed to have brought her daughter many times to the same client, each time for a monetary fee between 100$ and 300$.
After the mother’s confession, the police also brought the other broker to the police station for interrogation. The broker confessed to have induced the mother to sell her daughter to one rich client.
However, during the rescue operation, the police was unable to identify the perpetrator who bought the sexual services from the girl.
The rescued girl is being taken care of by an NGO to ensure that her emotional and physical well-being are restored. APLE will provide legal aid services to the girl and other family members shall they request them during the legal justice seeking process.