Home Authors Posts by Simon Henderson

Simon Henderson

Associate editor

Tourist Police Work Nights to Tackle Petty Crime

On Monday, the roadside fish restaurants along Street 51 in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district had closed for the Visak Bochea holiday. In the darkness, a squad of more than 20 armed tourist police was barely visible.

American Gets 2 Years for Sexually Assaulting Girls

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Tuesday sentenced 56-year-old U.S. national Robert Hays to two years in prison for sexually abusing two underage girls and ordered that he be deported upon his release, court officials said.

Animal Welfare Again in Spotlight at Zoos Owned by Official

When Eva Mignault visited Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province last year, she was not expecting a pleasant day out at the tourist attraction.

Press Freedom Down, But Web Offers Optimism

Last year was the deadliest for journalists in Cambodia since 1997, according to a report released by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media on Thursday, but most of the media professionals surveyed by the organization believe that the industry is heading in the right direction.

Colonial Ruins a Stage to Shakespeare Classic

William Shakespeare’s play about two star-crossed lovers, “Romeo and Juliet,” has pervaded Western culture to the point that its title has become shorthand for any story about doomed teenage love.

Second Mission Finds 36 More Cambodian Fishermen

Indonesian authorities made a second trip on Friday to the island of Benjina, rescuing 36 more Cambodian fishermen on top of the 58 already found enslaved and working under brutal conditions on the remote island, according to a statement by the International Organization for Migration.

NGO at Center of Abuse Claims Reopens With New Management

The Our Home center in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district has reopened under interim management after its director, Hang Vibol, was jailed last month and charged with abusing boys at the organization’s orphanage, which housed more than 50 children but was shuttered and will remain closed.

NGO: Role in Child Sex Abuse Case Distorted

Child protection NGO Friends International said it will contest being cited as the originator of allegations of sexual misconduct at Our Home orphanage that led to the center’s closure last month and to the imprisonment of its director on suspicion of sexually abusing boys in his care.

Michelle Obama’s Delegation Spent Nearly $250K on Hotel

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s stay at the Hotel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra in Siem Reap province to promote the “Let Girls Learn” initiative last weekend cost taxpayers nearly $250,000, according to a copy of the U.S. government contract.

UN Due to Announce New Human Rights Envoy

The U.N. was due to appoint its new human rights envoy to Cambodia on Friday night at the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, with British academic Rhona Smith expected to be selected from a three-person shortlist.

Japan to Provide $236M in Development Aid, Loans

Japan will sign off on $36 million worth of development aid projects in Cambodia next week and provide the government with almost $200 million in concessional loans for infrastructure and hospital improvements, according to a statement released by Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

Hun Sen Says US First Lady’s Plan Falls Short

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama may have captured global attention during her visit to Siem Reap province over the weekend, but Prime Minister Hun Sen joked Wednesday that her impassioned message about an initiative to empower young women was somewhat overstated.

US First Lady Says Education Gives Girls a Voice

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama left Cambodia on Sunday following the first-ever visit to the country by the wife of a sitting U.S. president, during which she called for greater freedom and equality in education and for the empowerment of young women.

Government Approves Pact to Send Maids to Malaysia

Cambodia has signed off on a draft agreement that would lift a moratorium on sending maids to Malaysia, imposed four years ago amid widespread reports of abuse, and is waiting for the Malaysian government’s approval, a Labor Ministry official said Tuesday.

Takeover of Star Vegas Casino Closer After $100M Loan Secured

Donaco International on Wednesday moved a step closer to taking over the Star Vegas Resort and Club in Poipet City after it added $100 million to a similar amount already raised since the $360million acquisition agreement was announced six weeks ago, according to a statement released by Donaco.

Anti-Pedophile Group Founder Denies Meddling

The founder of Action Pour Les Enfants this week dismissed child sex abuse claims made against him by the anti-pedophile NGO’s former director and said their feud had created a quandary for the organization when it was asked to investigate the ex-director over similar allegations.

New WWF Chief Says Cambodian Tigers a Priority

The new director-general of the international environmental group WWF, Marco Lambertini, met Tuesday with Environment Minister Say Sam Al to raise concerns over development projects that could have harmful environmental impacts, and one in particular that could derail plans to reintroduce tigers to Cambodia.

Orphanage Director Claims Child Sex Case Fabricated

The former chief of anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, who was jailed Friday on charges of indecently assaulting children, claimed the allegations were fabricated by APLE's founder as revenge for reporting his ex-boss to authorities over similar allegations in 2013.

Police Close Orphanage Over Child Sex Claims

Police shut down the Our Home orphanage and school in Phnom Penh on Thursday, two days after child sex abuse allegations led to the arrest of its director—a former head of the anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, which carried out the investigation.

Government to Start Small as It Moves to End Adoption Ban

Cambodia is inching closer to lifting a self-imposed ban on inter-country adoptions and believes its efforts to reform will soon meet preconditions for restarting the adoption process with countries that outlawed the practice in response to numerous high-profile child trafficking scandals, the government said Tuesday.