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Number of Reported Rapes Jumped Again in 2010

Two young girls carry trays on their heads laden with snacks to sell at a Phnom Penh's railway station. In Cambodia, the total number of rapes reported was up 9 percent from 2009 and up 20 percent from 2008.

Police and rights groups said Monday the country needs a new plan for moral values, as the number of reported rapes, including of underage girls, climbed again in 2010.

Adhoc recorded 501 rapes last year, including 76 where the victims were under the age of 10 and 33 where the victims were younger than 5 years old. Nearly three quarters of all the rapes involved girls under the age of 18.

The total number of rapes reported was up 9 percent from 2009 and up 20 percent from 2008.

Responding to the release of the report on Monday, national police spokesman Kirth Chantarith said the central department of the judicial police were studying the reasons behind the increase to find a “strategic plan” to curb the crime.

“I think that the strong and important measures for preventing the rape cases include, firstly, education for the public and promotion of understanding for social mores and social values,” he said. “Secondly, strong measures for the suppression of the rape cases; and thirdly, strong and absolute law enforcement.”

Other crimes have been reduced in the past two years, he said, but rapes remained a concern.

Adhoc President Thun Saray said the crime can't be curtailed through law enforcement alone.

Other measures should include treatment of psychological diseases, stronger punishment for rapists, suppression of pornography, and elimination of illegal drugs, he said. Social problems related to unemployment, poverty and social injustice were also contributing factors, he said.