Women detained for forcing kids to beg

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The two women were forcing six children to beg in Phnom Penh. Anti Human Trafficking

Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district.

Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection director Keo Thea said his department had been investigating the suspects, Che Thoeun, 58, and Nuon Toch, 28, for some time and after cooperating with local authorities, detained the pair on Wednesday.

“I have already sent the case of these two women to the court for further legal action,” he said.

Three boys and three girls were forced into begging and two of them were under five years old.

One of the children is Thoeun’s grandchild while another is Toch’s child. The others were distant relatives.

After the two suspects were detained, they confessed to the crime and said that they used to call tuk-tuks to deliver the kids to Chhouk Meas market every morning, where they would beg until 5pm or 6pm.

Each child was capable of collecting between 20,000 ($4.86) and 30,000 riel per day, which they would all share together. At night, the kids would sleep at Chhouk Va pagoda.

Authorities have sent the children to the Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation in Phnom Penh, Thea said.