APLE continues their essential work investigating and prosecuting sex crimes against children in Cambodia. Alongside this legal work they also educate at-risk children and their families about the dangers of sexual predators. APLE Director Seila Samleang gave New Day the following update on their July to September activities:
APLE Update – July to September 2012
– In July-Sept: APLE social department have been taking care of 114 victims in total; 56 victims (46 F) in Phnom Penh, 43 victims (19 F) in Sihanoukville and 15 victims (9 F) in Siem Reap. The age range of the victims varied from 3 to 21 years of age. The social workers additionally gave social services to 87 vulnerable children and 75 vulnerable families.
– During the same period, APLE legal department handled 56 court cases concerning 77 offenders (11 F) and was working in and out of court with 31 victims (13 M/ 18 F). There were 9 successful convictions. The convicts are 5 Cambodians, 2 Britons, 1 American, and 1 Swiss. One of the Britons, the American and the Swiss perpetrators will be deported from the country after serving their sentence.
– On August 9, APLE was elected by the 15 NGO partner organisations cooperating in the Sihanoukville NGO Advocacy Network(SNAN) to chair the Children Sub-committee for two years.
– On September 26, Sihanoukville Branch Project Officer Mr. Yi Moden participated in a conference themed “Fighting Human Trafficking – Liaison Officers Regional Cooperation in South East Asia”, organized by the Austrian Ministry of Interior in Bangkok. Among the speakers were the Department for International Affairs of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior, UNODC, APLE, the Australian Embassy, ECPAT, IOM, U.S ICE and several Thai Law Enforcement Agencies. The participants showed great interest in APLE’s cooperation with the Cambodian National Police and they praised APLE for its work and commitment in general and for the way it cooperates at national and international arenas.
– On September 26, A letter of intervention was sent to Minister of Justice, to request the Minister to intervene in the criminal case by Siem Reap Provincial Court against Dutch National S.R., who was acquitted of all charges of committing Indecent Act against 5 Minors under Fifteen Years. The intervention letter initiated by APLE was co-signed by 12 NGOs: Terre des Hommes – Netherlands, CWCC, COCD, KHEMARA, Krousar Thmey, Child Helpline Cambodia, Cambodia Acts, CLA, VFI, KAPE, VCOA, CWDA.
– In Jul-Sept, a total of 304 (vulnerable children, parents, local authorities and primary school students) participated in APLE education and training sessions conducted in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville to learn about characteristics of child sexual abuse, grooming trends and prevention of abuse.
– On September 27, APLE signed a funding agreement with the Swiss Embassy in Bangkok, who will support the ‘Combating Child Sexual Abuse’ project starting from September 2012 onwards, initially for the period of one year.
– On October 5, APLE was holding a meeting with 56 representatives from local and international partner NGOs in Siem Reap to present about the severe funding crisis APLE is facing and to seek out support from the participants.
APLE refers at-risk boys to vocational training at Sihanoukville NGO M’Lop Tapang.
APLE social worker educates at risk children from one of Phnom Penh’s poorest neighborhoods.