CAMBODIA – A former judge of the French judiciary and the director of the NGO Enfants du Cambodge had been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing seven boys, police and anti-pedophilia agent said on Thursday.
“Philippe Broaly, director of Enfants du Cambodge, was arrested on Tuesday in Preah Sihanouk province following an arrest warrant from the provincial court,” said Pen Kanha, deputy police chief of Preah Sihanouk province. “He is suspected of sexually abusing seven boys at his NGO.”
Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), a child protection NGO, assisted the police in an investigation that led to the arrest, the police said in a statement. The suspect was a former member of the French Judiciary.
The arrest came as a result of a joint investigation by the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit and the APLE after victims testified to the sexual exploitation that they suffered for years.
According to the statement, APLE has investigated almost 100 cases of NGOs-based child sexual exploitation. The arrest of Broaly marked the twentieth arrest of an individual linked to a child-focused institution.
“The victims in this case are deeply traumatized after years of abuse,” APLE executive director Seila Samleang said. “This arrest sends out a clear message that those suspected of abusing children will be investigated regardless of the position they hold within the society.”
APLE said poverty leaves families and communities throughout Cambodia susceptible to grooming techniques, which can lead to a great level of dependency on the offender and create a culture of silence surrounding abuse.