Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Surge in online child sex abuse worrying: NGO

Surge in online child sex abuse worrying: NGO

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) has been concerned by the sharing of pornographic pictures of young girls and women via the internet in Cambodia. IT Department

Surge in online child sex abuse worrying: NGO

The child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) has been concerned by the increase of child exploitation and the sharing of pornographic pictures of young girls and women via the internet in Cambodia, following the report of 30 such cases in the first quarter of this year.

APLE executive director Samleang Seila told The Post that internet usage among children and youth has increased, particularly mobile internet. This poses a concern as children and youth are not properly educated about safety in using the technology and could face the risk of child sexual exploitation.

“In the first quarter of this year, we received 30 cases, most of them related to spreading and exploiting obscene pictures on the internet.

“There are also cases in which Telegram groups are created to sell pornographic pictures and videos of both children and adults,” he said.

He said that last year APLE recorded 65 cases, mostly sharing obscene pictures of children on Facebook, but without exploitative intentions. Compared to last year’s figure, he said the number of cases has increased this year, especially via Telegram groups.

Most of the children who experienced sexual abuse were tricked by individuals who used fake identities to communicate with and attract girls to exchange naked pictures or meet in the real world, he said.

“Those naked pictures were then used by perpetrators to threaten and force victims to have sex or to extort money from young girls,” he added.

Recently, a Cambodian teacher was arrested by police following a court order for threatening his student online. The teacher allegedly threatened to post naked pictures of her on social media unless she gave him money. The victim decided to give the teacher a lot of money, Seila said.

“Such a case is of high concern for the safety of children who are using social media or the internet, especially girls,” he said, adding that the investigation is complicated and producing few results.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said he had not received all the reports on child exploitation via the internet. He said the Ministry of Interior has the Anti-Cyber Crime Department and Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department working on the issue.

National Cambodian Council for Children (NCCC) secretary-general Nhep Sopheap could not be reached for comment on March 28.

To raise awareness on the issue, APLE recently produced a video about online sexual exploitation. APLE urged the public to report such cases to them for intervention.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro