As part of a multi-agency task force from Siem Reap province, AIM SWAT officers and staff closed down an unregistered aftercare shelter named “Darimak” resulting in the rescue of 15 children on February 20th. This was the culmination of a 2 month-long investigation that was initiated after we received information that children residing at the shelter were being exploited for labor and sex purposes.
The investigation showed that the children were being forced to work at the guesthouse of the manager of the shelter who had regularly physically and sexually assaulted the 5 boys and 10 girls in his care. We also discovered that these kids were malnourished and suffering from a lack of basic hygiene and poor health. They had been recruited by the manager of the shelter from very poor families with the promise of providing their children with good living conditions and a good education.
Upon learning of the investigation, the suspect fled Siem Reap and we are currently working with the police to locate him. The families of each victim were visited by the task force after Darimark’s closure and all requested that their children be given the opportunity for aftercare and education at good, reputable aftercare centers. Our own aftercare team will monitor the progress of these children to ensure their wellbeing.