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Tuesday, 12 September, 2000, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Cambodia to expel sex offenders
Girls in brothel
Many of Cambodia's prostitutes are underage
Cambodia plans to expel foreigners suspected of sex offences, even if they are not convicted of any crime.

Children scavenging
Increased child poverty has led many to turn to prostitution
The Minister for Women's Affairs Mu Sochua said a blacklist of all foreign sex-crime suspects would be drawn up.

Those on the list will be denied a new visa when their current one expires and will have to leave the country.

The blacklist will be distributed to Cambodian embassies overseas and at all border-crossing points.

Corruption

Mu Sochua said Cambodian courts were not dealing properly with foreign sex offenders.

Sex tourist
Sex tourism is growing in Cambodia
She said her office was concerned that corruption in the justice system and the intimidation of victims was interfering with the prosecution of sex offenders.

Human rights workers have expressed concerns about punishing people who are simply suspected of committing a crime.

But Mu Socha told the BBC Cambodia was more concerned about protecting women and children from violence and exploitation.

Sex tourism centre

Cambodia is regarded as a major centre for child prostitution, but suspects are often freed by the courts.

There have been reports of several instances where suspects have bought their way out of detention while awaiting trial.

A report published by the Cambodian Tourism Ministry and the charity World Vision last month said many senior officials in Cambodia were actively involved in the promotion of sex tourism.

An American man identified as Dan Sandler, expelled from Cambodia for setting up a web-site featuring local women, was recently reported to have re-entered the country despite orders to immigration officials that he be banned.

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See also:

17 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Cambodia deports 'sex slaves'
22 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Asia's child sex tourism rising
28 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Sex tourist jailed in Australia
18 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Clampdown on child sex
09 Feb 99 | South Asia
'100 kids abused daily' in Sri Lanka
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