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Sonia Kohlbacher

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Medical Staff to Be Trained to Respond to Domestic Violence

In an effort to better tackle the damaging effects of domestic violence, health workers across Cambodia will receive training next year to help them meet the needs of abused women and children.

Unrecorded Rapes Prevent ‘Access to Justice’

The pervasiveness of gender-based violence is concealed behind the government’s failure to systematically document rape cases and their final outcomes, experts say.

Carrying a Stranger’s Child Through an Uncertain Time

Ly Raksmey left her home in the heart of the country’s rice bowl in January and headed to a hospital on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. The 34-year-old stayed there several nights, in a facility that was better and cleaner than any hospital she had slept in before.

After Ban, Surrogacy Brokers Look To Laos

Brokers who hired Cambodian women to carry the children of foreign parents before the practice was banned are now developing cross-border arrangements with Laos and Malaysia, according to U.S.-based advisory agency Sensible Surrogacy.

Corrupt Justice System Failing Rape Victims

Women and girls who are raped in Cambodia rarely find justice because of widespread corruption and unlawful police practices, rights group Licadho said on Monday, noting that the situation remains unchanged since it released the same findings a year ago.

Expecting Delays

A recently imposed ban on surrogacy imperils a couple’s dreams of having children of their own, and leaves two pregnant women in limbo.

IS Recruiter With Cambodian Links Turns Up in Turkey

Islamic State recruiter Neil Pra­kash, whose Cambodian mother migrated to Australia as a refugee, has reportedly turned up alive in Turkey, six months after officials declared the wanted terrorist dead in Iraq.

Experts Back Liquor Law to Help Prevent Spousal Abuse

A draft law proposing tighter controls on the sale and consumption of alcohol—the first of its kind in Cambodia—is being advanced by health experts as a way to reduce and prevent domestic violence.

Vigilance Urged 25 Years After First AIDS Case

Twenty-five years after the first case of HIV was reported in Cambodia, the country is on track to meet its target of eliminating new infections by 2025—if it remains vigilant, UNAIDS said on Tuesday.

Pregnant Surrogates Flee as Brokers Charged

As an Australian nurse was charged on Monday for her role in connecting surrogate mothers with childless couples, tens of pregnant Cambodian women carrying the children of other parents had been moved to Thailand, according to a surrogate who recently gave birth.

Zika Statement Retracted After False-Positive Result

The Ministry of Health on Friday released a statement saying a Cambodian man was diagnosed with the Zika virus, only to retract the statement within hours.

Mental Health Professionals Look to Group Therapy to Aid Youth

In a country traumatized by the travails of war and poverty—yet largely stuck trying to medicate its mentally ill back to health—mental health professionals are pushing group therapy in the hope of reaching more troubled children and youths nationwide.

Study: Female Leaders Would Boost Garment Worker Conditions

Having more female labor leaders in Cambodia’s $6 billion garment industry would lead to better conditions for all workers and fewer human rights abuses, but they face many obstacles in acquiring power in trade unions, according to a new academic study.

‘Why Were We Killed?’ Soldier Asks at Tribunal

A former Khmer Rouge soldier who helped bring the regime to power in 1975 returned to his home village after its fall to discover that more than 20 family members had been tortured and killed, he testified at the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Friday.

Accused Traitor Survived Execution Attempt, Hid in Cave

A former cook accused of being a traitor was nearly clubbed to death by Khmer Rouge officials during a purge of East Zone civilians and cadres, but survived and took shelter in a cave, the Khmer Rouge tribunal heard on Thursday.

Enemies Needed to Be ‘Cleansed,’ Tribunal Hears

During a political study session in the mid-1970s, Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea identified state security forces, foreign spies and the Vietnamese as party enemies who needed to be “cleansed,” a witness told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday.

Relative Claims Ignorance of ‘Warlord’ Sao Phim’s Leadership

A distant relative of Sao Phim told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Monday that he could not respond to a British journalist’s claim that the East Zone commander was a “quintessential warlord” because he did not know enough about his leadership.

Unicef Urges Government Review of Campaign Against Malnutrition

Unicef’s representative to Cam­bodia on Friday strongly urged government departments and NGOs to step up efforts to reduce malnutrition by identifying and refocusing their priorities in a country where 1 in 3 children are stunted.

Ministry of Health Bans Surrogate Pregnancy

The health minister has banned surrogate pregnancy arrangements in the country, putting the brakes on what appeared to be a quickly expanding—if controversial—industry. The move comes just days after the justice minister called for the practice to be outlawed.

Former Medic Plotted Against Regime, Khmer Rouge Tribunal Hears

A chief medic stationed on the battlefront along the Vietnam border told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday how he turned against Pol Pot’s regime and staged an attack against its forces following internal purges in the East Zone.