Surrogates arrested in Cambodia

 

Human trafficking is punishable with 7 to 15 years imprisonment by Cambodian law.

In July, 32 pregnant surrogates were arrested. One of the women told the Union of Catholic Asian News agency that she had been chained to her bed on a maternity ward while giving birth and was sent back to detention within a week.

Chou Bun Eng, the vice chairman of Cambodia's National Committee of Anti-Human Trafficking, said she hopes to get the surrogates released on bail soon. 'They shouldn't be punished with the maximum sentence because the actual crime of trafficking has not even been committed yet'.

Defence lawyers are now planning to submit documents to the court to prove that the women are willing to raise the babies themselves instead of having them adopted.

Meanwhile, the article says, Australian nurse Tammy Davis-Charles was secretly released from Cambodian prison in May. She was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in August 2017 for helping to source clients and falsify documents such as birth certificates for surrogate-born babies in the country. Davis-Charles has previously denied the allegations, saying she only provided medical care to the pregnant women.

Prior to working in Cambodia she operated a surrogacy clinic in Thailand before the practice became illegal in 2015. She has yet to comment on her release from Prey Sar prison.

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