The call came after 11 women jailed for agreeing to carry a client’s baby were released from prison. The Southeast Asian nation has seen an uptick in commercial surrogacy after the practice was banned in Thailand in 2015, and has since been scrambling to draft a law to stamp out the trade. In the meantime, dozens of surrogates have been charged under human trafficking laws and face up to 20 years in prison – a scenario that must change under the new law, said Chak Sopheap, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR). “The effect of the law should be to focus on the perpetrators and agents of surrogacy, who are often men, not the women who carry the children,” she said. “The possibility that these women were coerced or driven by poverty to become surrogates is high.” Surrogates told the Thomson Reuters Foundation they were offered $10,000 to carry a baby, more than six times the average annual salary in a nation where one-third of the population lives on the poverty line. Family pressures, often brought about by excessive debt, can drive young women into surrogacy, women’s rights experts said. The release on bail last month of… Read full this story
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