Cambodia has an unfortunate reputation as a destination for paedophiles. Originally a side-product of the boom in prostitution during the UNTAC years, child sex tourism has grown in Cambodia as a result of crackdowns on child prostitution in other Southeast Asian countries, and remains a serious problem in spite of the hefty prison sentences which have been handed out to brothel owners and visitors involved in child sex tourism. Cambodia’s highest-profile case involved Gary Glitter, who was deported in 2003, since when, dozens of other perpetrators have been jailed or deported to face trial in their home country.

The Ministry of the Interior (National Police) ask that anyone witnessing child prostitution in Cambodia immediately report it to the police on their national “child-wise” hotline (t023/997919). ChildSafe (186 Street 13, Phnom Penh) has a 24-hour national hotline to report children at risk (t012/311 112, w The organization aims to protect Cambodian children from abuse. Their guidelines ask that tourists – tempting though it is to try to help – refrain from buying from children and giving money to children or to parents with young children; this is felt to keep them on the streets and in vulnerable situations. Instead, they ask that you help by supporting social workers or purchase products and services that sport the ChildSafe logo, which is now widely promoted in all provinces. You could also consider contacting ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Abuse and Trafficking, w

Sex offenders who commit acts of paedophilia abroad can be prosecuted under the relevant national laws in their home country: in the UK contact Crimestoppers on t0800/555 111, w; in the US contact US Customs Immigration Enforcement on t1-800/843 5678, w; in Canada contact NCECC (National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre) w; in Australia contact the Australian Federal Police on t1800/333 000, w Be aware, however, that there are lots of mixed-race couples in Cambodia and, consequently, many sons and daughters (actual and adopted) of these relationships – so make sure of your facts before launching into any accusations.

Online abuse can be reported worldwide to the Virtual Global Taskforce (w The site has links to relevant country-specific enforcement sites.

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