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Acid attacks: Cambodia victims 'denied government aid'

February 6, 2019 5:22 am

Survivors of acid attacks in Cambodia are being denied free government treatment that they are legally entitled to, Human Rights Watch says.

Its report focused on 17 survivors, none of whom are said to have received government aid for their injuries.

In 2012, legislation was passed in Cambodia to toughen punishments for acid attack perpetrators and provide more support for victims.

The government insists treatment for victims is being provided for free.

“We would like to deny the accusation,” health ministry spokesman Ly Sovann told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “We have the law, and we provide the service for free.”

But HRW said the tougher rules and victim aid were not being put into action.

Acid attacks are particularly common in South East Asia and the majority of crimes are against women.

The common perception in Cambodia is that acid attacks are a result of “love triangle” relationships, and female victims are often deemed in some way responsible for their attack.