Licadho yesterday unveiled its nine-month report on sexual abuse of children, noting that it registered 110 cases during the period.
According to the report, Licadho registered 110 cases of child sexual abuse from January to September that were reported to it by families of victims in Phnom Penh and 14 provinces across the Kingdom.
Licadho noted that eight children were killed after being raped and others suffered injuries.
It said the majority of cases took place in the rural areas in Battambang and Kampong Chhang provinces, which lack a proper education system and social security.
Am Sam Ath, Licadho’s technical supervisor, yesterday blamed drugs and alcohol abuse for rapes on children.
“We found that most parents leave their small children at home with their grandparents or relatives when they go out to work,” he said. “The children are not well taken care of and in some cases the relatives themselves rape them. Even worse some fathers raped their own daughters.”
It noted that most cases are settled outside of the judicial system and perpetrators are not jailed, making it difficult for victims to get justice and closure.
“Action must be taken, although in some cases the perpetrators are family members,” he said. “Rapes are inhuman and cruel.”
Last year, Licadho registered 147 child sexual abuse victims of whom six were killed.
Touch Channy, director-general of the Social Affairs Ministry’s technical department, yesterday dismissed Licadho’s figures, saying that the number of child sexual abuse cases has declined over the years.
He noted that the government has worked with the international community and experts to tackle the problem.
“The government is not silent over the problem,” Mr Channy said. “We admit that child sexual abuse has become severe but the number of cases has decreased. The abuses take place because many people are not very educated and the influx of foreign cultures has a negative effect on them.”
According to Mr Channy, the ministry last week met with representatives of 21 countries to discuss ways to protect children from sexual abuse.
He said the ministry is drafting a final report of the meeting to seek approval from the council of ministers to prioritise steps needed to tackle the problem.