Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who Will Defend the Children in Cambodian Drug Rehab Centres?

At the end of January, Human Rights Watch released a report on abuses throughout Cambodia's system of drug detention centres. Our report detailed terrible abuses and sadistic violence. The adults and children we interviewed told us of being beaten, whipped and punished with electric shocks.

Unicef provides direct funding for one of the centres, where drug-users and children - some reportedly as young as four - are brought in from the streets. When we briefed them four months before we released our report, they told us they were shocked. They promised to look into the abuses. Children who had been detained at the Unicef-funded centre told us of being tortured. They told us of being forced to do exhausting military exercises, work on construction projects and even dance naked for guards.

We expected Unicef to press for a thorough and independent investigation and to demand that those responsible for the abuses be held accountable. We hoped they would conduct a review of their funding, programming and activities. We expected them to press the Cambodian government more broadly about the detention of children alongside adults.

To read more: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/03/31/who-will-defend-children-cambodian-drug-rehab-centres?tr=y&auid=6156533

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