Anti-pedophile organization Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) released a new report Thursday that it hopes will persuade the government that foreigners convicted of child sex crimes in Cambodia should face mandatory deportation after serving their sentences.
The report was released at a workshop in Phnom Penh on child abuse in Cambodia co-hosted by APLE and the government’s National Committee for Counter Trafficking, an interministerial body set up in 2009 to fight human trafficking.
APLE country director Samleang Seila, whose organization’s primary focus is prosecuting foreign perpetrators of child sex crimes, said the goal of the workshop was to find consensus on new punitive measures against offenders to increase protection for children.
“The aim [is to] find collective agreement on implementing additional penalties on foreigners found guilty of child sex abuse, including prohibiting them from staying in Cambodia,” he said in a speech.
Because deportation orders are currently a matter of judicial discretion, the APLE report also aimed to persuade judges to order foreign pedophiles deported at the end of their sentences.
The report, entitled “Should Foreign Child Sex Offenders Be Deported From Cambodia?” found that there is a high probability of foreign child abusers reoffending after release from prison.
Yet of the 115 foreigners convicted of child sex crimes between 2003 and 2014, according to APLE’s data, only 32, or 27.8 percent, were deported after finishing their sentence.
With less than a third of offenders sent back to their home countries—and 60.5 percent of offenders having previously offended in cases where the perpetrator’s background is known—the likelihood of their committing further crimes against Cambodian children is too great to permit them to remain, the study concludes.