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Women charged over child labour

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Officials arrest a woman accused of forcing her child to beg for money. Supplied

Three women will today appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged with forcing children to beg at traffic lights in the capital.
The suspects are among four women who were arrested on Sunday for using children to earn money at traffic lights near Damkor market in Toul Kork district.
Eight children were rescued and taken into the care of the authorities, while one pregnant woman was released after promising she would not do it again. 
Sorn Sophal, director of Phnom Penh’s municipal social affairs department, said officials decided to charge the other three women because it was not the first time they had been caught. 
“We won’t educate them not to do it again because we have done that before,” he said. 
“We have sent them to court because we already asked them to stop forcing their children to work and advised them to learn some skills instead, but they carried on doing the same thing.” 
Mr Sophal said the women will face child abuse and forced child labour charges. 
“They are guilty of using illegal child labour,” he said, adding that mothers have a responsibility to make sure their children go to school. 
He said city authorities will now crack down on all those who abuse children by forcing them to beg on the street.  
“We will not allow people to do it any more. Getting strict like this has been a last resort,” Mr Sophal said. 
“Previously, we often forgave people, letting them off after telling them not to do it again, but they still don’t listen. 
“We are determined to eliminate all kinds of child labour and children’s rights abuses.”

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