Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Sonia Kohlbacher


Government Seeks Greater Child Protection Measures

A lack of well-defined roles for authorities and nongovernmental groups involved in child protection is hampering responses to child abuse, exploitation and neglect, something the government hopes to rectify with a new sub-decree that strengthens existing laws.

Khmer Rouge Foreign Policy Hastened Occupation, Tribunal Hears

Leaders of Pol Pot’s regime wrongly believed they were more powerful than their neighbors and adopted a reckless foreign policy that contributed to Vietnam’s invasion and occupation of the country, an expert witness told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday.

New Guidelines Expected To Boost Domestic Adoptions

Domestic adoptions are expected to increase following the release of new guidelines that will make it less fraught for prospective parents to offer permanent homes for children, experts said at a meeting on Wednesday.

Justice Minister Wants Law Banning Surrogate Pregnancies

The justice minister has called for a ban on commercial surrogacy, describing the transaction in which a Cambodian woman gives birth to the child of other parents as a form of “trading” that should be investigated by authorities.

Vietnamese Targeted for Death, Tribunal Told

A former logistics official told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday that he once helped members of a Vietnamese-Khmer family hide their ethnic identities from regime soldiers, but that they were arrested and killed anyway.

Coup Plans Prompted Khmer Rouge Purges, Witness Says

A mid-level official who distributed supplies to the front lines of Pol Pot’s fight against Vietnam told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Monday that a foiled plan to overthrow the regime prompted leadership purges in the Northwest Zone.

Efforts to Reform Child Sector Slowed by Lack of Resources

After completing the first phase of a sweeping plan to register and regulate the country’s orphanages and work toward returning more children to a family setting, the Ministry of Social Affairs says it is hamstrung by a lack of funding, staff and options for what to do with children at failing orphanages.

Foreign Ministry Formalizes Public Service Fees

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a new public services office and formalized fees for a broad group of services often used by foreigners as part of a wider government push to collect revenue and boost efficiency.

Declining Rights Focus of UN Envoy Visit

The U.N.’s human rights envoy to Cambodia will arrive for her third fact-finding mission on Monday, weeks after addressing an annual U.N. Human Rights Council session where she warned of a deteriorating rights situation ahead of next year’s commune elections.

Government Target for Eliminating HIV Pushed Back Five Years

Two years after Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed to eliminate new HIV infections by 2020, projections indicate the government will need another five years to reach its target.

Using Condoms as Evidence, Police Flout Law

Three years after a regulation took effect that prohibited police from using condoms as evidence of commercial sex, authorities openly admit to continuing the practice, which health experts say undermines the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Women in Land Conflicts Suffer Disproportionately, Study Finds

Nearly all women involved in land disputes have experienced mental health problems as a result and nearly half have considered suicide, according to new research.

Better Nutrition Alone Won’t Stop Stunting, Study Says

Despite steady gains over the past two decades, about a third of Cambodia’s children are still stunted—leaving them smaller, prone to illness and cognitively impaired—according to new research that suggests a more flexible approach is needed to continue progress.

Bodyguard Tells Tribunal of Trip to Border to Collect Uniforms

A former bodyguard for Northwest Zone secretary Ruos Nhim told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday that he was once ordered to collect Vietnamese military uniforms during an operation carried out in the dead of night at the border.

Tribunal Hears of Secret Medical Experiments

A former radio operator testifying for a second day at the Khmer Rouge tribunal spoke of secretly witnessing medical experiments on female prisoners and of soldiers being “taken out” during internal purges.

Radio Operator Tells of ‘Coup’ Chatter During Khmer Rouge

An officer tasked with sending radio reports from the front lines of Pol Pot’s fight against Vietnam told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Tuesday that he once overheard enemy troops calling on combatants in Cambodia to “join hands” with them to topple the regime.

Wife of Suspected Traitor Tells Tribunal of Wedding, Suffering

The 1976 forced marriage of a Khmer Rouge official in Kratie province was celebrated with the slaughter of animals and cutting of cake—a stark contrast to the austere mass ceremonies that would follow.

Couple Forced to Have Sex, Tribunal Hears

A woman and her new husband were physically forced to consummate their marriage by a group of militia men who barged into their house just hours after a mass wedding ceremony, the woman told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Friday.

Prison Photographer’s Testimony Questioned

A former S-21 photographer told the Khmer Rouge tribunal on Thursday that a man who has long claimed to have taken many of the black and white portraits at the prison—now on display at the museum on its grounds—was merely a trainee in the prison’s photography unit.

Government Intervenes Over Low Rice Prices

The government has outlined a new three-pronged approach to boost the prices paid to rice farmers, aiming to break the monopoly held by traders in some areas, increase the bargaining power of farmers and press rice millers to pay higher prices.