A 6-year-old girl discovered chained to a post in her grandmother’s home has been handed over to an NGO for her protection, Kompong Cham provincial police reported Monday.
Police found Ny Cheat tied with 3 meters of chain to a house column in Tonle Bit commune, Tbong Khmum district last week, said Seng Sokim, Kompong Cham deputy provincial police chief.
“This case is very strange. Our police have never encountered this kind of case, but we have concluded that it is a violation of the child’s rights,” he said.
A police investigation determined that the girl’s grandmother routinely restrained Ny Cheat while she and her husband worked in a nearby market.
“According to our research, her grandmother was afraid because her granddaughter is very naughty,” Seng Sokim said. He added that Ny Cheat is known to explore the riverbank unattended.
He said police educated the 60-year-old grandmother, Chin Han, about the child’s rights. Chin Han’s husband also was informed about abusive behavior. Cambodia has no child abuse laws.
The girl was sent to the Vulnerable Child Assistance Organization in Kompong Cham province, said an official with the human rights group Licadho. The official said Licadho now is considering sending the girl to Phnom Penh for schooling.
“Her mother is in Malaysia. She left [Ny Cheat] since she was 3 years old,” the official said Monday.
The grandparents, who sell vegetables at the Tonle Bit market, are poor and uneducated, the official said.
“They are afraid that their granddaughter will go missing, so they tied her in the house. But they give her food during the day and release her with a key at night,” the Licadho official said.
Seng Sokim said he will ask his colleagues to investigate the case further to determine where Ny Cheat’s parents are.