ChildSafe cases story from the field 2008
Case study about a ChildSafe Tourists
In April 2009, two UK tourists were staying in Siem Reap where they witnessed a situation that made them feel uncomfortable. An older Western man was holding hands with 4 Khmer children at the Angkor Wat temples, all aged less than 15 years old.
The next morning, the concerned UK couple saw the same suspect in the hotel restaurant eating breakfast with the 4 boys. At this point, the UK couple realized it was a cause for concern, so they spoke to the Hotel manager about this. He checked with his staff who confirmed this western man had stayed in same room as the 4 children. Sadly, at this point, they had already checked out. The UK couple called a national hotline they had seen advertised, but as it was Khmer New Year, it was not being answered. They themselves had a flight to catch back to the UK that afternoon, so they did not know where to go for help with so little time.
On arriving back to the UK, this very conscientious couple sent an email to the ChildSafe and M’Lop Tapang websites where we immediately responded. MT, who implements ChildSafe in partnership with Friends International, referred this case to an NGO assisting police in their investigations (Actions Pour Les Enfants) who worked with the police immediately to make further investigations. Within 24 hours, the international police confirmed that this suspect was a convicted child sex offender from USA. On 18 May, the Cambodian national police with the assistance of the FBI and APLE arrested the suspect, who confessed to sexually abusing 2 of the boys and the children were followed up by APLE social workers. The perpetrator is now being held in custody in Phnom Penh awaiting trial in 5 months.
Due to the quick wit of these two UK tourists, and their commitment to helping protect children in countries they visit, many children have been protected from this dangerous child sex offender. We are proud that the ChildSafe program makes it easy and efficient for good tourists to report abuse and react in a safe and positive manner in ensuring children are protected in Cambodia. Thanks to the efficiency of these tourists, ChildSafe partners and Cambodian National Police, Cambodia is slowly but surely becoming a safer place, where everyone in this community can work together and play an active role in keeping children safe. These tourists are excellent role models for others and a great example of how ChildSafe tourism is a powerful tool in protecting children.
Case study about a ChildSafe member
On 2nd September, 2008, a ChildSafe member noticed a young boy in front of the royal palace in Phnom Penh. The boy was 19 years old from Kampong Cham province. His mother had died when the boy was very young, therefore his father remarried and so the boy was sent to live with his grandmother who was a farmer. His grandmother forced him to work on the farm. Soon his grandmother was no longer able to support the boy to study so he decided to migrate to Phnom Penh city to find a job. When he arrived in Phnom Penh he stayed in front of the royal palace for a few days until he was approached by a ChildSafe member. The member provided information and support to the boy about the ChildSafe project. The boy has now decided to study at Mith Samlanh in the vocational training centre.
Case study from a child:
Case story 1
I am 14 years old. My homeland is Kor Village in Kampong Cham Province. After my parents were divorced, I was forced to live with my grandparents who are farmers. My grandparents always forced me to work and they did not allow me to go to school. One day I was sick and was not able to work, my grandparents beat me and forced me to leave their home. I left with by bicycle to Phnom Penh. It took me a couple of days to get to Phnom Penh.
While I was in Phnom Penh, a gang forced me to give them my bicycle, but fortunately the ChildSafe Motodup and Tuk Tuk drivers helped me to escape from them. When I got to the Royal Palace, I met Mith Samlanh’s child rights staff and they told me about challenges of being on the street and they also explained what Mith Samlanh does. I then decided to go to study at Mith Samlanh in their non-formal education program.
Case story 2
In June 2008, a thirty-nine year-old mother migrated from Svay Rieng Province with two children, a nine year old girl and a baby boy. The mother was observed attempting to give away or sell the baby. The family was brought to stay at the ChildSafe centre for emergency accommodation and assistance. They stayed at the centre for several days and the family was counseled to help find a solution to their challenges. The ChildSafe team came to understand that the mother was HIV positive and that the baby was on medication to prevent HIV infection. The case was referred to Mith Samlanh and a solution for her and the children was found by referring her to the services at Ketomela hospital. The baby boy was temporarily taken care of by a caregiver and the daughter began to study at Mith Samlanh and stay at a transitional home. After leaving from the hospital, the case manager rented a house for the woman and her family and the Home Base Productions Team provided training in sewing skills. The woman now makes products and sells them to Mith Samlanh. Her daughter still studies at Mith Samlanh and the son is being taken care of by the mother.
Case study 3
In October 2008, a sixteen year-old girl was bought by a local to the ChildSafe centre staff. The young girl stayed one night at the center. She was provided with food and counseling. The social worker came to understand that she had migrated from Kom Pot province. The girl said her father was an alcoholic and she had experienced domestic violence. After being counseled, the girl decided she would like to access the referred services as Mith Samlanh. She moved into the temporary accommodation and started doing vocational training in cooking. She is still accessing the services of Mith Samlanh.
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