Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Finding justice for women, children victims of sex crimes




Finding justice for women, children victims of sex crimes

Finding justice for women, children victims of sex crimes

In response to yesterday’s article "Provincial cop ‘still on job’ despite sentencing", Licadho commends Mr Yun Bunly for his remarkable courage and principle in pursuing the case against Korng Sophat, the police officer convicted of raping his 11-year-old daughter in 2010.

Immediately after committing the crime, Sophat offered Mr Bunly and his family a sizeable sum of money to drop the complaint against him.

Instead the family chose to pursue the case through the courts but five years later they have been woefully failed by Cambodia’s justice system with Sophat remaining free and no sign of the $10,000 compensation ordered by the court.

Such an outcome is not uncommon, particularly in cases of violence and sexual assault against women and children.

Only about a third of rape cases investigated by Licadho result in a satisfactory conviction.

The remaining cases either end before trial, with many complaints dropped in return for compensation, or result in a flawed conviction, with convictions for lesser offences and suspended sentences commonplace.

As demonstrated by this case, where the perpetrator has wealth and occupies a position of power, securing a proper conviction is almost impossible.

The courts’ failure to impose proper legal sanctions in cases of violence and sexual assault is not only extremely harmful to the victims, it also signals indifference to the issue on the part of the authorities and undermines the deterrent effect of the law.

The courts need to set an example in such cases and the government needs to make clear its condemnation of violence against women and children.

Recent developments in the cases of Sok Bun and Chhouk Bundith have given some slight cause for optimism.

We hope that they are an indication of increased willingness on the part of the government and the courts and not simply a populist stunt made possible by the high-profile nature of the cases.

We will be watching carefully and urge those who have the power to ensure that Mr Yun Bunly and his daughter, and all those like them, receive justice at last.

Naly Pilorge
Director,
Licadho

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,