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When I went to college, I chose a highly regarded university with a strong tradition as a Jesuit institution. I was pleased with my undergraduate education at Boston College, but I still lament that my alma mater denies students access to contraceptive…
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THE biannual International AIDS Conference began yesterday in Vienna, bringing together tens of thousands of HIV experts, activists and officials from around the world. The theme of this year's conference is human rights - a recognition that only by…
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"[H]e started to whip me on my back with twisted electrical wire," said Kakada, recalling his detention in a so-called "youth rehabilitation center" in Cambodia. "I was in such pain. Sometimes I cry alone, after the beating, because it was so painful. I…
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At the end of January, Human Rights Watch released a report on abuses throughout Cambodia's system of drug detention centres. Our report detailed terrible abuses and sadistic violence. The adults and children we interviewed told us of being beaten,…
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Dear Editor,
 
 Richard Bridle, the head of UNICEF's Cambodia office, says that there is no "culture" of violence at the Chaom Chao Youth Rehabilitation Centre ("UN Denies Abuse of Drug Users", March 22). What is his conclusion based upon? The…
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UNICEF must do more to oppose Cambodia’s involuntary rehab centres

This post first appeared in the March 8, 2010 issue of Cambodia's English language daily, The Phnom Penh Post. For recent coverage of this issue, see interviews with UNICEF and Human Rights Watch by France 24, and Radio Australia (audio).  
 
 My…
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Press Government to Investigate, Close Down Abusive Programs, Hold Torturers Accountable

(New York) - The United Nations should conduct a thorough review of its support for Cambodia's drug detention centers, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch issued a 93-page report, "Skin on the Cable," on January 25, 2010, with reports of…
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They had been beaten, whipped, shocked with electric batons and even raped. Food was scarce and forced labor common. Cambodians who have spent time in the country's drug detention centers described these outrageous abuses and horrible conditions, and more…
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Respect Rights and Expand Voluntary, Community-Based Treatment

People who use drugs in Cambodia are at risk of arbitrary detention in centers where they suffer torture, physical and sexual violence, and other forms of cruel punishment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Detention centers, mandated…
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So-called rehabilitation centres in Cambodia and elsewhere in Asia are in reality prisons where harsh and ineffective measures are used to break the hold of drugs

The glossy brochure from Cambodia's national drugs authority is reassuring. Drug use causes social instability and blocks national development, it explains, but the ultimate solution is to encourage people who use drugs to seek support. Friends and family…
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The plight of children in Kenya who fall prey to HIV/Aids

20-month-old Daniel is sitting on his grandmother’s lap in a small house in Nyangoma village, Western Kenya. His body is periodically shaken by a violent cough, and he looks tired and weak. Daniel (not his real name) is HIV-positive and suspected to…
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(New York) — Trade ministers at the upcoming WTO summit in Doha, Qatar should abandon threats of sanctions against countries trying to obtain medicines for health emergencies such as HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said today. The WTO summit will take place…