Cambodia shuts foreign-run orphanage accused of beating children, human trafficking

Cambodian authorities have shut a foreign-run orphanage that is suspected of beating its children and carrying out human trafficking.

Officials and a rights group said Monday that police raided the unlicensed orphanage, called Love in Action, in the capital, Phnom Penh, and rescued 21 children.

Gratianne Quade, a spokeswoman for SISHA, an anti-trafficking organization in Cambodia, said an Australian woman who ran the orphanage was not arrested in the Friday raid and her current whereabouts were not known.

Um Sophanara, an official at the Social Affairs Ministry, which oversees orphanages, confirmed the closure but declined to give details. A SISHA statement said the raid came after several groups of children had fled the orphanage recently and reported a variety of neglect and abuse problems to authorities.