Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:01 pm

This is an excerpt from a 2015 WP opinion article written by Don Brewster, the founder of AIM, where he rejects the premise that child sex trafficking in Cambodia has been largely overcome, and defends the need for the AIM "rescue team" to continue to intervene in Cambodia:
The fight against child sex trafficking in Cambodia is far from over
By Donald J. Brewster May 21, 2015
Decrying “mission accomplished” in the fight against child sex trafficking in Cambodia is premature. The danger in doing this too soon is that, by exaggerating the success, we will turn the international spotlight away from an area of the world that still needs it. Worse, we will stop listening for the cries of girls who are exploited.

Over the past year, our rescue team conducted 12 successful raids in which 81 women and children were rescued — 39 percent were underage. Another nine rescues of sex-trafficking victims are lined up; eight of these involve children. And our undercover agents consistently intercept sex-buyers looking in Svay Pak for underage girls.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... story.html
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:19 pm

- Don Brewster, founder of the Christian organization AIM, has now made a full "heartfelt apology" to Mr HE, the PM of Cambodia, and to the Cambodian people for any insinuation that the sex workers in the disputed CNN report on sex-trafficking in Cambodia were Cambodian or related to Cambodians. Mr Brewster puts the blame on CNN, saying that he had told the US news station that the girls concerned were ethnic Vietnamese, and they got it wrong.

Brewster excuses himself, blames CNN, he never meant to insult anyone by suggesting that underage prostitutes in Cambodia could be Cambodian.
"Recently, myself and the NGO I led, Agape International Mission, were mistakenly accused of working with CNN to defame the integrity of Cambodian mothers and of not having programs to help the people of Cambodia. Both of these accusations are false," he said. "CNN identified the three girls as Cambodian when in fact they are ethnically Vietnamese. This misidentification was made even though I told CNN the girls were Vietnamese," he said in a statement.
CNN stands by the original story.
CNN declined to comment on Tuesday's development. In a statement published by The Cambodia Daily after HE's original criticism of the program, CNN said it stood by its story, noting that its point was that progress had been made in combating child sex trafficking since its previous story.
The PM has accepted the apology and changed his line of fire from AIM to CNN.
HE originally lashed out at both AIM and CNN when he first denounced the broadcast, but on Tuesday pinned the blame on CNN.

His original criticism of AIM had been harsh.HE said he "could not accept" the assertion that Cambodian mothers sold their daughters into prostitution.
"My country is poor but you can't insult my people," he said. "This insult cannot be tolerated. No matter what it costs us, this organization has to leave Cambodia."
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... ty-workers
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:41 pm

All is back on track after the press conference and the public apologies:

HE gives AIM a reprieve after CEO apologises for ‘hurt’ caused by CNN report
22 August 2017
Prime Minister HE has decided not to shut down a Christian anti-trafficking charity after its founder issued a “heartfelt apology” yesterday.

The apology from Agape International Missions (AIM) CEO Don Brewster is the first public comment he has made since the social media fracas sparked by a CNN report that identified three girls sold into sexual slavery and rescued by AIM as Cambodian, when they were in fact ethnically Vietnamese.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday told The Post HE had granted the NGO a second chance after he ordered AIM to be investigated and shut down for the “serious insult”.

“For AIM, Samdech Prime Minister [HE] has decided it can continue, but they need to hold a press conference to elaborate the issues that took place in the past,” Kheng said...
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/h ... cnn-report
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by StroppyChops » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:22 pm

I love this distinction between Cambodian, "Ethnic Vietnamese" and Vietnamese. So convenient.

The fact that they were (presumably) born in Cambodia, and were sold into sexual slavery in Cambodia, is thus irrelevant and not at all the story.
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by Anchor Moy » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:50 pm

StroppyChops wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:22 pm
I love this distinction between Cambodian, "Ethnic Vietnamese" and Vietnamese. So convenient.

The fact that they were (presumably) born in Cambodia, and were sold into sexual slavery in Cambodia, is thus irrelevant and not at all the story.
I thought it was outrageous, (blame the Vietnamese etc), but the head of a US Christian NGO thinks that's no problem apparently. He just said whatever it takes to keep working in Cambodia.
Let's get down and dirty Stroppy, as a self-declared Christian worker in Cambodia, does that bother you ? Or shouldn't I ask awkward questions ?
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by StroppyChops » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:00 pm

Anchor Moy wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:50 pm
StroppyChops wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:22 pm
I love this distinction between Cambodian, "Ethnic Vietnamese" and Vietnamese. So convenient.

The fact that they were (presumably) born in Cambodia, and were sold into sexual slavery in Cambodia, is thus irrelevant and not at all the story.
I thought it was outrageous, (blame the Vietnamese etc), but the head of a US Christian NGO thinks that's no problem apparently. He just said whatever it takes to keep working in Cambodia.
Let's get down and dirty Stroppy, as a self-declared Christian worker in Cambodia, does that bother you ? Or shouldn't I ask awkward questions ?
No, you SHOULD ask awkward questions, and you should especially ask them of self-professed do-gooders, including myself. People like me, and agencies like mine, should be held to a higher standard and to more rigorous public scrutiny.

My understanding on the situation is that if the CEO didn't offer a "heart-felt apology" that NGO was out of here, leaving a massive void for the marginalised people they work with. (I know you) understand that a lot of the work they do does not happen in the public eye, or they'd be drawing a lot more fire for being seen to criticise the kingdom. From first-hand experience, it's actually pretty tough trying to make a difference for people who need it when you've got certain pressures constantly on you.

I think the CEO had two really bad options on the table, and took the only real one. There's some suggestion in the blogosphere that the CEO has thrown CNN under the bus in the process, I frankly don't agree with this in any way.

I also think there may have been a fixer in place suggesting that if certain things were said and not said, the situation would be allowed to blow over.

Your thoughts?
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by mauser765 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:05 pm

I'm with Stroppy on everything except I wish the CEO had doused CNN in petrol and fired them up first.

Disgraceful news network.
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Re: Christian NGO AIM, (Agape International Ministries), to be investigated over child sex stories.

Post by Username Taken » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:32 pm

Didn't Donald say that CNN was fake news?
... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ...

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