City Hall sends hundreds for rehab in social affairs centres

Source: KhmerTimes

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A boy stands on the side of the street as potential customers for his goods drive by. KT/Mai Vireak

More than 1,700 beggars and homeless people were removed from the streets of Phnom Penh and sent to social affairs centres last year.

According to City Hall’s annual report, which was released yesterday, authorities rounded up 1,727 beggars and homeless people from all city districts over the course of 2017.

City Hall administrative director Hoat Hai said 1,560 people, including 262 children, were sent to the Phnom Penh Transit Centre in Por Senchey district and the rest were sent to another facility.

He added that 1,110 of them have since been reintegrated into the community.

Mr Hai said City Hall planned to round up more beggars, homeless people and sex workers to bring more order to the capital’s streets.

“The municipality will make state centres better and enhance the health of beggars and homeless people, while also giving them more training to reintegrate them into the community,” he said.

Last week, City Hall reintegrated more than 100 beggars and homeless people from the Phnom Penh Transit Centre after they received sufficient training.

The facility, previously called the Prey Speu Social Affairs Centre, was notorious for its human rights abuses.

In August, Social Affairs Minister Vong Soth met with Rhona Smith, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia, to discuss the situation at Prey Speu. Ms Smith told the minister the centre was far too overcrowded and many of its patients were still lacking treatment.

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