Government security guards rounded up 17 homeless people in Phnom Penh on Thursday and sent them to the notorious Prey Speu detention center for vocational training, according to officials, despite City Hall’s acknowledgement that the center does not have the staff or resources to offer such training.
Daun Penh district governor Kuoch Chamroeun said 14 men and three women were rounded up by district guards Thursday.
“Our goal is to send them to the social department for vocational training,” he said. “We want the social affairs department to give them basic education and train them.”
City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche confirmed that the 17 were taken to Prey Speu, officially called the Pur Senchey Vocational Training Center.
Recent visits to Prey Speu by government officials resulted in admissions that the center—which has been plagued by allegation of abuse—does not have the capacity to provide the training its name suggests.
Mr. Dimanche said the center was a work in progress.
“The city is working on improvements after the governor visited Prey Speu,” he said, referring to municipal governor Pa Socheatvong’s July 17 visit.