Somaly Mam, a lesson for the media, NGOs and donors

The Cambodia Daily reported this Thursday that “After Somaly Mam Resigns, Trafficking NGOs Anxious.” I think that such anxiety should not correspond to transparent and professional organizations, because a honest NGO does not relay in fantastic stories like the ones of Somaly Mam Foundation, but in processes. Donors relaying their funds in processes should not be affected also, because they are already trained to receive objective results from the transparent organizations they use to reach the victims of social evils and poverty for years. Those donors that have been attracted by Hollywood-and-even-Bolliwood-stories-like will be by sure stop to give funds to organizations that relay in scripts rather than in processes.  Continue reading

Somaly Mam, a big pot of milk scam

The last reports on the two stories of Somaly Mam – the fake and the real – is only a tip of the iceberg and it is a big tip. She attracted international attention for the organization that has her own name as an activist against sex and human trafficking, specialized in the rescue and support of girls and young women, who are victims of sexual slavery. In this article by Simon Marks of Newsweekly, the journalist that uncovered her fraud, it is said that she got a long list of prominent international admirers that include former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, actresses like Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon and Shay Mitchell, New York Times Pulitzer-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof, Queen Sofia of Spain, former Facebook adviser Brandee Barker and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. Such public attention gave so much financial capacity that her “refugee center” known in French as Agir Pour Les Femmes en Situation Précaire, AFESIP (in English would be “Acting for Women in Precarious Situation”) became international, opening offices in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, France and Switzerland.  Continue reading

Kep Province, rising from the ashes

The official opening of a residence for young women studying at the Don Bosco Vocational Center in Kep City was the opportunity to remember that the tiniest Cambodian province was few decades ago a scenery of violence under the action of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla. ‘Our province was sadly a place of violence. We remember for example the regrettable fate of three foreign young men kidnapped and murdered by people without mercy in 1994, not far from this place, where now we see the growing of this technical school for a more peaceful and progressive future of our nation,’ said Kep Province‘s governor Ken Satha during a ceremony at the school last Wednesday 7th November. Continue reading

ORG IFHRA fake email, be aware

 

Please be aware of fraudulent announcements directed to NGOs and development agencies. Here you find a screen shot of the last fake email I got in my account saying that a certain ORG IFHRA is concern about domestic violence. You can find the text denounced by this database monitoring fraudulent emails, UIA. Here is the text exposed. When you get an email of this kind and you have doubts about its real intention, copy the first lines and paste it on any search engine. In this case I paste the first text of this email in Google: ‘The worldwide concern about Domestic Violence; its impact on the fate of growing population of the world, has risen to unprecedented levels in the last few years‘ and it brought me to the monitoring fake emails’ database. Do not believe everything coming into your email.

Main text of the ‘worldwide concern about domestic violence’ fake email.

 

Please help to identify who is this young women’s abuser

This Cambodian youtuber identified as Chlat (meaning ‘clever’) uploaded yesterday this hideous video showing how a young man in school uniform hit a young lady. The title of the video is សិស្សខ្មែរវាយគ្នា ស្ទឹងត្រែង (Khmer students fighting in Steng Treng). The 45 seconds video shows how the man hits the girl several times, while she tries to defend herself. A group of young observers, among them other women, seem to enjoy the unequal battle. Chlat seems to film the fight from a motorbike. Some male voices encourage the action. The man dominates the girl taking her from her hair and it ended when she is on the ground and he is up her, then the observers approach and stop it. Neither the face of the aggressor or the victim is shown, as well the faces of the observers. The Chlat’s channel does not provide much information about his owner. Please help to identified the aggressor and his accomplices. I kept a copy of the video if it is removed upon any investigation. We should not tolerate any violence against girls and women in Cambodia. Boys and young men should learn to respect and give dignity to women. Here the video, but it can be deleted on Youtube soon by sure.

Update: The video has been already deleted by Youtube for violation of its terms of conditions. There is already a Khmer media reaction here in KhmerLoads.com. It seems that the Chlat’s channels is linked to that Khmer news website. The article describes also the event saying that the men were encouraging the action and at the end one says ‘the video is over’. The event seems to be located on a bridge in Stung Treng province, northern Cambodia.

Don’t forget men

Still a lot to do in the protection of women’s rights in Cambodia. In many labor cases, women continue to get less salaries than men. Sexual violence against girls and women does not see to stop: domestic violence, rape, child abuse, child prostitution, human traffic… The current problem of Cambodian maids in Malaysia that face untold human rights abuses, has not yet a satisfactory solution. Husbands that abandon their wives and children to let them without social protection plus the big number of women living under poverty.  Continue reading

The 2011 Wrestling Championship began today

Phnom Penh. Today began the wrestling tournament until Thursday where 300 male and female fighters will meet at the Olympic National Stadium in the capital. The Khmer Traditional Wrestling, known as Bok Cham Bab, has been practiced especially by men, but as the tradition discovers the presence of women as displaced in ancient temples like the Banteay Srei, Cambodian women have been encouraged to practice this sport too. Twenty delegations from 9 clubs will participate to win awards between 100 up to 400 US dollars in 55 to 120 kilograms in male categories and 45 to 63 kilograms in female categories. The tournament is organized by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth of Cambodia.

We need more campaigns to stop gang rapes and child abuse

Kompot. Two gang rapes in a single month in Kompot province and two humiliated girls, one ready to commit suicide. The most interesting is that the gangsters are young as 16 years old and most of them students. On May 5 a group of 13 males abused a 16 years old. Eight of them are fugitives from justice. Last Monday, the court charged three students for the rape of a 20 years old woman in an infamous case. The police is searching for other four males. Continue reading

Mass fainting in Puma

Correction: Only one factory provides products for Puma, Huey Chuien.

Another national news of big concern is related to a mass dismay of about 800 young female workers at the Universal Apparel Cambodia Co Ltd and the Huey Chuien Cambodia Corp Ltd, the last one of the German sport shoes Puma, between Saturday and Sunday. The young women have been attended in the hospital but the reasons of the curious mass dismay remain dark. Puma officials have not made declarations to the public opinion so far. It could be related with labor conditions according to assumptions. Female workers in factories like these have monthly salaries of 61 US dollars. It is good to remind that a pair of Puma shoes can have a cost of between 50 and 70 US dollars, a price that our passed out girls could hardly buy.

The Mother Teresa Film Festival in Cambodia

Phnom Penh. To close my Saturday evening I went to the Sorya Shopping Mall, that smart modern building just few meters at the south of the Central Market. The idea was to watch a movie. There was outside a music promotional concert and inside the mall plenty of fashion youth going up and down the escalators. I confess that there were not much attractive movies for me this time, but there was something out of common: the film of Mother Teresa. Continue reading

Educate men and protect women

August 2 2008 052In October 2003 a group of experts of the Division for the Advancement of Women in cooperation with the International Labor Organization gathered to analyze the role of men and boys in promoting gender equality. Today Cambodia is shocked by other rape crime in the Kompong Cham Province where seven young men confessed to gang raping and then stabbing to death a 13 years old girl. Continue reading