The online threat: As child abuse moves online, Cambodian law enforcement follows

With crimes committed using technology increasingly at the forefront of efforts by law enforcement and NGOs, in Cambodia a new unit dedicated to tackling the growth of online child abuse has just been formed.

James McCabe, the Australian executive director of Cambodia’s Child Protection Unit (CPU), believes that protecting minors who can not protect themselves means being keenly aware of what exactly the threat is against those children.

“You’ve always got to keep your eye on the ball: always looking at what’s happening around the world and staying on top of it,” said McCabe, who has been in Phnom Penh since 2013 and had a chance to see the shifting tide of crime against children in the Kingdom. When speaking to the former police officer, it seems as though ‘heartbreaking’ is a recurrent word in his vocabulary, borne only out of sincerity.

In operation since 2013, the (CPU) is a joint initiative between the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) and the Cambodian National Police which aims to crackdown on incidences of child abuse, long a blemish on Cambodia’s reputation. It’s the only one of its kind in the Kingdom and a response to harrowing incidences of crime that are often beyond the capacity of local police forces to fully investigate.

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