Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Anticipating the debate

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Abubakar Shekau says he is still leading Boko Haram

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace accord (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace accord (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mykki Blanco, Van Morrison & The Weeknd’s duo with Daft Punk

Read more

FOCUS

FRANCE 24 exclusive: The last stand for Libya’s Oil Crescent

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greece’s minister of tourism: ‘Tourism is a government priority’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Terrorism, strike actions and migrant crisis: Is the EU becoming less attractive to tourists?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Moody's cuts Turkey's credit rating to junk

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

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-09-26 Libya

FRANCE 24 exclusive: The last stand for Libya’s Oil Crescent

While filming a report about a militia leader allied with the internationally recognised Libyan government in Tripoli, FRANCE 24 journalists witnessed the takeover of a key oil...

Read more

2016-09-23 UK

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

D-Day is fast approaching for the embattled leader of Britain's Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. Just a year ago, the election of this radical London MP brought about a sharp swing...

Read more

2016-09-22 Vietnam

Vietnam's communist regime embraces capitalism, foreign investment

Critics say it's a country ruled by a communist regime which stifles any kind of political opposition. On the other hand, Vietnam has chosen to embrace a market economy, and...

Read more

2016-09-21 corruption

Will Spain's anti-corruption pact help clean up politics?

Systemic corruption by politicians divides political parties in Spain. It's also one of the main causes of the current political impasse. Spain's conservative People's Party has...

Read more

2016-09-20 migrants

Video: Cooking workshops spring up at French migrant camp

Grande-Synthe, near the northern port of Dunkirk, is France's first refugee camp to meet international standards. It is currently home to almost 1,500 people, mainly asylum...

Read more