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Better Treatment Sought for City's Poor

Thousand of street children suffering from various issues are adrift in Phnom Penh, and officials said Thursday they need training, not detention, to better their lives.

"We give them vocational training and education," said Ly Sophat, a program director for the NGO Mith Samlan, which works with street children. "When they leave us, they can find a job."

Mith Samlan does not detain children, she said, speaking Monday as a guest on "Hello VOA."

Phnom Penh authorities have come under pressure in recent days for the use of two rehabilitation centers, which the rights group Licadho called unlawful detention centers.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun told "Hello VOA" Monday he was not careless about children, and the city had at least one rehabilitation center that trains children in computer skills, English and motor repair, as well as helping them overcome drug addiction.

Ly Sophat told listeners they could find Mith Samlan at 215 Street 13, in Daun Penh district, Phnom Penh, or call them at 023-426-748 or 023-220-596.