Cambodia: Paid surrogate mothers face trafficking & exploitation charges

Author: Taing Vida, Khmer Times, Published on: 13 November 2018

"Municipal court charges surrogacy operators with human trafficking," 14 November 2018

Phnom Penh Municipal Court...charged a total of 18 people connected to a surrogacy business...

...[p]olice raided a home in Sen Sok district housing surrogates. After the raid, a total of 15 people were arrested, including 13 women and two men.

...[P]olice have identified three more people involved who remain at large and were charged in absentia...Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said all 18 were charged with human trafficking.

Mr Sophanna said that 14 pregnant women were charged for violating article 16 on the suppression of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and article 322 of the criminal code on being an intermediary between an adoptive parent and a pregnant mother.

He added that two men and two women, who worked as managers, were additionally charged with violating article 29 of the criminal code for being accomplices.

...[e]leven pregnant women involved in the case were identified as garment workers and were brought into the business by brokers. Each woman was offered $200 for the initial sperm injection.

The women were promised $10 per day for food during pregnancy and were told each woman could earn up to $10,000 after a baby is delivered.

The report said at least four of the accused have confessed that the mastermind behind the case could be a foreign national who remains at large.

Chou Bun Eng, chairwoman of the National Authority against Human Trafficking, said the surrogate mothers are now being held in an undisclosed hospital under police supervision.

[T]he NCAT said that it would seek bail for 32 surrogate mothers charged with human trafficking following a raid on a surrogacy business...


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