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Nearly 140 reintegrated from social affairs centre

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:

City Hall has decided to reintegrate more than 100 beggars and homeless people from the Phnom Penh Transit Centre in Por Senchey district after they received sufficient training.

The facility, previously called the Prey Speu Social Affairs Centre, was notorious for its human rights abuses after beggars and homeless people were rounded up from the streets and sent there.

Deputy Phnom Penh Governor Mean Chanyada said the city decided to reintegrate 135 beggars and homeless people into the community on Monday after they had received enough training from the centre.

“Now they have some ability to come back to their community after being trained in some skills by the centre. Their health is also sufficient,” he said.

According to a City Hall report, there are now 585 people being housed at the centre.

Sem Nang, a 38-year-old beggar who sleeps in the park near Phsar Chas, or Old Market, said beggars and homeless people always sleep in the park, but face being arrested by authorities.

“Some beggars there have been arrested two or three times and sent to Prey Speu centre. Some escaped because they could not stay and train there,” she said.

In August 2017, Social Affairs Minister Vong Soth met with Rhona Smith, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia, to discuss the situation at the Prey Speu centre.

She told the minister the centre was far too overcrowded and many of its patients were still lacking treatment.

Mr Soth said some of the people staying at the Prey Speu centre would be transferred to a new mental health centre in Kandal province.

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