Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Latest update : 2010-03-04

The scandal of Cambodia's rehabilitation centres

A report by Human Rights Watch denounces the harsh methods used by Cambodian authorities against young drug addicts in rehabilitation centres which resemble prisons. FRANCE 24 correspondent Cyril Payen went to investigate and sent us this exclusive report.

At night, in the streets of Phnom Penh, you don't need to look far to find the down-and-out of Cambodian society. The country counts some 500,000 drug addicts.

The methods used by the government to ‘rehabilitate’ these drug users are at the centre of a report by Human Rights Watch published on Jan. 25, 2010. The NGO denounces the use of torture, rape and a whole array of physical abuses in some of these rehabilitation centres.

We went to meet these drug addicts and their stories are damning. All of this community of excluded people lives in fear of being sent back to a centre where they are treated like animals.

Instead of being weaned off their drug addictions, these street children picked up by the police suffer physical and sometimes sexual abuse, and are forced to work long hours without any pay.

As for the Cambodian authorities, they deny these accusations outright and point out that numerous international organisations finance the centres directly or indirectly, in a country where half the government’s budget depends on international aid.

One of the centres denounced by Human Rights Watch, situated on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, takes in children aged from four to eleven. All are street children addicted to sniffing glue and who arrive here after being arrested by the police. Ironically, this centre which is so well known to human rights organisations is financed by UNICEF, the UN agency for the protection of children.

Despite the publication of the HRW report and the accusations against UNICEF, the latter has reportedly not carried out any investigation, and no notable change has been observed in how the Cambodian rehabilitation centres are run.

By Cyril PAYEN

Comments

COMMENT(S)

 
 
Archives

2014-07-11 Burma

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Buddhism places great importance in non-violence and overcoming anger. Yet in Burma – a country 90% Buddhist - a very vocal group of monks has no qualms expressing their violent...

Read more

2014-07-10 women

Ireland's missing babies cast light on dark history

The world was shocked when the remains of almost 800 babies were dug up in a small Irish town recently... babies buried more than half a century ago. This story, sadly, has...

Read more

2014-07-09 UK

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

It's not often that a discreet publication in obscure legalese makes press headlines. But that is exactly what has happened in the UK, after the Law Society of England and Wales...

Read more

2014-07-08 environment

US shale gas: Full steam ahead with fracking

Recent calls for less European dependence on natural gas from Russia are adding to pressure on countries like France to open up its massive shale gas deposits and allow fracking....

Read more

2014-07-07 Pakistan

Pakistani parents forced to send children to madrassas

Schools providing a modern education in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and tribal areas struggle to survive as Islamist trusts running madrassas force parents to send...

Read more