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CAMBODIA: Surrogate mothers freed on bail, agree to keep children

Thirty-two surrogate mothers charged with human trafficking in Cambodia for carrying babies for Chinese clients have been released after agreeing to keep the children, officials say.

The women were arrested in June in a raid as part of a crackdown on the country’s commercial surrogacy trade.

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Surrogacy was banned in Cambodia in 2016, a year after neighbouring Thailand imposed limits on the service.

Demand has risen in recent years since China’s easing of its one-child policy.

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A further five people, including a Chinese national, have been charged with human trafficking over the case.

A police official said while the women had committed a crime, their babies were innocent, adding that they have agreed not to sell the babies and will raise them.  They could face human trafficking charges if they break the agreement.

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