Prison IssuesStatement LICADHO Urges Government to Support Child Rights and to Protect Youth in Prisons
May 31, 2015
LICADHO’s Children’s Rights Office (CRO), in partnership with the Child Protection Group (CPG) network, will celebrate International Children’s Day 2015 in several locations. On 28 May, early celebrations took place in Dangkor Middle School, Phnom Penh. On 1 June, the official date of International Children’s Day, celebrations will take place in the morning (8:30am-11:00am) at Sangkat Norkor Thom, Siem Reap, Sal Mohorsrop Theater, Koh Kong, and at Build Bright University in Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk. At these locations, the CRO and CPGs will organize public forums and interactive theatre performances concerning child rights, and help distribute social assistance packages to the families of vulnerable children and youth. Approximately 2,350 people are expected to attend the celebrations.
March 18, 2015
Following the recent release of 22 women from prison, LICADHO welcomes news that the Ministries of Justice and Interior will discuss longer term solutions to ensuring the welfare of children whose mothers face prison sentences.
LICADHO has recently conducted detailed research into the arrest and sentencing of mothers with dependent children and has found that the welfare of the child is rarely taken into account when a mother is sent to pre-trial detention or at sentencing. Many women interviewed told LICADHO that judges did not even ask them if they had children or not before sending them to prison.
March 5, 2015
It is with deep regret that LICADHO announces it will not conduct annual activities in Cambodian prisons this year for International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated on March 8.
For over 15 years LICADHO has visited Cambodian prisons on International Women’s Day (IWD) to provide care packages to female prisoners, female guards and to the children living in prison with their mothers. In the past 10 years, LICADHO has also coordinated special entertainment in prisons including speeches, games, traditional dancing and shows performed by the prisoners themselves. The activities have been well received by the prisoners and used to be supported by the prison authorities.
March 2, 2015
Late last week a committee headed by the Ministry of Justice announced that 16 incarcerated women, including 15 women with children and one pregnant woman, will be released before International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015. The committee also stated that the government plans to release pregnant women and women with children every year.
February 15, 2015
As of November 2014 there were 40 children between the ages of one month and almost four years living with their mothers in the Cambodian prisons monitored by LICADHO. Approximately half of them were born in prison and have never experienced life beyond the prison walls. Whilst there have been few detailed studies assessing the long-term impact of prison life on a child’s development, it is clear that for some children early life behind bars can have devastating physical and psychological consequences and life in Cambodian prisons is no exception.
January 20, 2015
Ahead of the appeal hearing this week for 10 land activists and one monk, all wrongfully convicted and imprisoned following unfair trials, LICADHO is publishing a new report about the current state of Cambodian prisons and the human rights implications for those held in them.
The report “Rights at a Price: Life inside Cambodia’s Prisons” details the ongoing, systematic abuse, discrimination, exploitation and corruption within Cambodia’s prison system and notes that despite steps towards reform, many challenges remain, including prison overcrowding, poor infrastructure, lack of appeal transportation, weak implementation of the law and lack of knowledge amongst prison officials.
August 20, 2014
LICADHO calls for immediate family access to all three CNRP youth leaders currently detained in Prey Sar’s CC1 prison. Khin Chamreun, Neang Sokhun and San Kimheng have now been in pre-trial detention for 18 days and have not been permitted any family visits.
June 26, 2014
On June 26, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, LICADHO releases new testimony and analysis of torture and ill-treatment in Cambodia’s police stations and prisons, including the abuse of females and juveniles and those experiencing mental health problems.
May 30, 2014
LICADHO will mark International Children’s Day 2014 by distributing food and materials to juvenile prisoners, small children living with their incarcerated mothers in prison and pregnant women in eight of Cambodia’s prisons . International Children’s Day officially falls on June 1.
January 28, 2014
Today, the United Nations will conduct a Universal Periodical Review (UPR) of Cambodia to look into some of the key human rights issues affecting the country, from systematic attacks against human rights defenders to labour trafficking and obstacles against basic freedoms such as right to assembly and expression. LICADHO, by itself and with partners, has contributed to this process by submitting a number of documents.
December 8, 2013
As thousands of people gather across Cambodia to celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), LICADHO will also be celebrating with prisoners in 18 prisons across Cambodia.
LICADHO will organize basic food package distribution to more than 13,000 prisoners in 18 Cambodian prisons,1 including nutrient drinks and snacks. LICADHO will provide a more comprehensive care package to four prisoners that LICADHO considers human rights defenders. LICADHO will also organize entertainment for prisoners, such as traditional dancing and music.
October 15, 2013
In Cambodia today there are many young children living in prison with their mothers 1 yet there is little understanding amongst authorities and society at large of the short and long term impact of prison life on children. In this, Cambodia is not alone – to date there are only a few studies of the effects on children who spend their early years behind bars.
Prisoners are among the most marginalized groups in any society, and Cambodia is no different. They are cut off from society, both physically and emotionally. This is especially devastating for children who are not prisoners but are too often treated as such. The reality of Cambodian prisons is harsh for anyone, but for a child it can be devastating.
May 30, 2013
In 2010 and 2012, LICADHO reported on Cambodia’s widespread problem of in absentia appeals hearings. Due to Cambodia’s minimal inmate transportation system, hundreds – if not thousands – of prisoners were being systematically refused the right to attend their criminal appeals. Cambodian law requires the presence of the accused at appeal hearings.
After years of delays, prison authorities have finally begun transporting provincial prisoners to their appeals hearings in Phnom Penh, but the failure to offer return transport is threatening to undermine progress.
March 7, 2013
The number of women and girls in Cambodian prisons continues to soar at an alarm-ing rate.
By mid-December 2012 there were 1,270 female inmates in the Cambodian prison system, an increase of 39% since December 2010. Women and girls represent 8% of prisoners in Cambodia but their incarceration rate has been growing four times faster than the male prison population.
July 8, 2012
Two years after LICADHO first warned that Cambodia's prison population was spiraling out of control, growth has finally slowed - but prisons remain at more than 170% of capacity and the underlying causes of the crisis remain unaddressed.
LICADHO's third annual report on prison overcrowding and criminal justice reform updates an array of statistics on the prison population and reexamines recommendations that were made in previous reports from 2010 and 2011.
The report also details some of the underlying factors driving the overcrowding crisis. Most notably, LICADHO research shows that the number of inmates incarcerated for drug of offenses increased by a whopping 163% in 2011. And in 13 prisons surveyed by LICADHO, the total has nearly quadrupled since 2008.