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Methodology The map published here by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) provides information on acid attack cases that occurred in Cambodia between 2009 and 2013. The information is gathered from Khmer and English language news media and relevant publications. The number of sources relied upon varies from case to case. In certain cases, the information presented is gathered from a single source – usually a news report. We have provided as much information as possible as available from the sources. It should be noted however that salient information not included in the sources may therefore be absent in certain cases. Due to concerns related to the privacy of the victims and to avoid re-victimizing the survivors, CCHR has only included the initials of the victims. There are two icons on the map outlining acid attacks according to the number of attacks and the number of victims of each attack respectively. The different figures arise from the same cases, the disparity between the number of attacks and the number of victims being the result of the fact acid is a messy weapon, such that in many cases there are multiple victims – both intended and unintended victims. The "Victims" graph below outlines the disparity between the number of attacks and the number of victims resulting from those attacks. In addition to the information gathered from public sources and presented on the map, statistics of attacks gathered by the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) are presented in the "Attacks" and "Victims" graph below. The number of attacks recorded by CASC is greater than that presented on the map. The disparity between these figures is due to the fact that CASC works with victims of some cases that are not reported upon in the media. It should be noted however that it is likely that the number of acid attacks that occur in Cambodia each year exceeds even the number of attacks recorded by CASC. Many cases go unreported and it is considered by experts that the "dark number" – the number of unreported cases – could be equal to those reported. This culture of silence surrounding acid violence results from the fact that victims are often perceived as having done something wrong and are viewed by many as having deserved to be the victims of these heinous crime. As a result, victims are often shamed into not coming forward and are left to suffer in silence.
Please find below reports relevant to issues of acid attack in Cambodia
  • Punishment fitting the crime: Effectively punishing and combatting acid violence in Cambodia through the creation and enforcement of a law (Khmer ,English)
  • Ending the Cycle of Impunity for Acid Crimes in Cambodia (Khmer ,English)

Analysis of Data on Acid Violence Attacks in Cambodia 2009-2013

There are no official statistics in Cambodia regarding the numbers of acid attack cases occurring in the country. Although CASC has a substantive database of information about reported attacks, it is likely that even these figures do not represent the true extent of acid violence in Cambodia as many attacks still go unreported. The study conducted by CCHR only examined acid attack cases reported in the media from 2009 to December 2013. The study found a total of 35 reported cases of acid violence during this period, with a total of 59 victims (23 male / 34 female / 2 sex unspecified). In the two cases where the gender of the victims is unspecified, this is due to the fact that this information was not provided in the source.
Year CASC's Data CCHR's Data (Media Monitored)
2009 24 8
2010 26 13
2011 17 10
2012 7 7
The table above compares the number of attacks from 2009 and 2013 that CASC is aware of and the number of attacks reported by the media during the same period. This graph illustrates the extent to which the public at large remains unaware of the true extent of the problem. Overall, between 2009 and 2013, the media reported exactly half of the attacks that were recorded by CASC during the same period. Although the number of cases reported in the media has increased over the last few years, going from a third of reported cases in 2009 (33.3%) to over half of reported cases in 2011 (58.8%), this comparison illustrates the gap between the number of cases that CASC is aware of and the number of cases that are reported on in the public.
Year CASC's Data CCHR's Data (Media Monitored)
2009 36 16
2010 43 23
2011 25 15
2012 9 9
The difference between CASC’s data and the cases reported in the media is even starker when considering the number of victims. Overall, from 2009 to the present, the media has only reported 54.1% of the number of victims of acid attacks that has been recorded by CASC. The graph above illustrates the disparity between these figures year to year.
Province # of Cases # of Victims
Banteay Meanchey 1 1
Kampong Cham 8 12
Kampot 1 1
Kandal 1 1
Koh Kong 1 2
Phnom Penh 20 32
Siem Reap 1 1
Sihanoukville 1 3
Svay Rieng 1 3
Takeo 1 4
Total 35 39
The graph above sets out the number of acid attacks occurring between 2009 and 2013 according to province. Over half of the cases reported upon in the media occurred in Phnom Penh (54.28%). Almost a quarter of the remaining attacks were reported to have occurred in the province of Kampong Cham (22.86%). The remaining 22.86% of attacks occurred in the eight provinces of Kandal, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Banteay Meanchey, Sihanoukville, Koh Kong, Kampot and Siem Reap.
Year Male Female Unspecified
2009 4 12 0
2010 10 11 2
2011 7 8 0
2012 3 6 0
The graph above sets out the gender of victims of acid attacks. Whereas in many countries where acid violence occurs the victims are overwhelmingly female, research shows that in Cambodia the number of reported attacks on male is generally commensurate to the number of reported attacks on women. Based on information on publicly available information, in 2009, 75% of the reported victims of acid attacks were women. In 2010, the percentage of female victims fell to 47.82%. In 8.71% of cases in 2010, the gender could not be ascertained by CCHR due to the fact that this information was not provided in the source relied upon. In 2011 and 2012, there were almost as many male victims as female victims.
Year Male Female Unspecified
2009 2 2 4
2010 2 5 6
2011 4 1 4
2012 2 0 5
The graph above sets out the gender divide of perpetrators and alleged perpetrators of acid attacks. More often than not, the perpetrators of acid violence attacks are unknown. Of the acid attacks reported on in the media from 2009 to 2012, the gender of the perpetrator/alleged perpetrator was unknown in 48.57% of cases. Of the 35 perpetrators/alleged perpetrators identified in the CCHR study, women were the reported perpetrator/alleged perpetrator in 28.57% of cases, whereas men were reported as the perpetrator/alleged perpetrator in 22.85% of cases. As acid violence is complicated by its very nature, in some cases the individual or individuals who carry out the offense in person may not necessarily have been the instigator of the attack. Although data is lacking in that regard, it is likely that in many of these cases, there were others complicit in the crimes, whether as co-perpetrators, instigators or accomplices.