Anti-surrogacy advocates have welcomed the government’s recent stance to ban surrogacy in Cambodia, though legal experts have warned that the shady practice could still continue if the prohibition is not enshrined in law. In a ministry directive, or prakas, signed October 24, Health Minister Mam Bunheng signed off on a total ban on surrogacy. Article 12 of the prakas, obtained by the Post on November 3, reads: “Surrogacy, one of a set of services to have a baby by Assisted Reproductive Technology, is banned completely”. Bunheng and health spokespeople could not be reached on November 3, but the single line in the prakas did not outline any legal consequences for those who breach the ban. Legal expert Sok Sam Oeun said this left the ban in a potentially flimsy state. “A prohibition to do something must be made by the law,” he said. A prakas, he added, must be consistent with the law, but there is currently no law outlawing surrogacy. Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said he was not aware of the Health Ministry’s directive. “We are in the process of studying [so we can start] drafting the law for prevention of surrogacy,” he said.