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Australian nurse jailed for illegal Cambodian surrogacy

An Australian nurse has been jailed for 18 months in Cambodia for providing commercial surrogacy services.

Earlier reports said that Davis-Charles had operated a clinic that matched foreign couples with Cambodian surrogate mothers.

She had said in court she did not recruit the parents and only took care of the mothers to "make sure they were safe".

Two Cambodians said to have worked with her, Samrith Chakriy and Penh Rithy, were also found guilty and jailed over similar charges.

In 2015 Thailand imposed a ban on foreigners seeking Thai surrogate mothers following a string of scandals in the industry.

This led to an uptick in commercial surrogacy in neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, which then moved swiftly to impose a total ban.

But the practice has continued to flourish in other places where it is not regulated, such as Laos.

Besides commercial surrogacy, Cambodia has also recently banned organ trafficking and the export of breast milk.

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