|A Cell Block in one of Cambodia's Prisons|
Lina is a Cambodian woman serving a 16 year sentence in one of Cambodia's prisons. You can see here in an earlier post why, according to her, she ended up incarcerated.
Her story continues:
'When I entered the prison, I had no choice but to bring my child with me.*
My child, Maly, was only a baby at the time. My husband had died and we didn't have any family living near us that could take care of Maly.
Maly was too young to understand what was happening or to understand what living in prison meant, however I was very sad at the thought that my child would have to live in a prison cell and become a prisoner as well.'
Cambodia has just one female-only prison.**
Therefore some women prisoners and their children share their prison, although not their cell, with men.
Some of these men have been convicted of violent crimes against women. Others have been incarcerated for pedophilia. Many Cambodian jails fail to keep women convicts and their children apart from the men in prison common areas.
The problem is obvious...
*Children up to the age of six are allowed to live with a parent in jail should it be considered in the best interests of the child.
** Correctional Centre 2, or CC2, sits on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.