The capital’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection bureau this year arrested 52 people in connection with sexual exploitation cases involving women and children, according to an annual report released by the National Police on Monday.
The January 1 to December 25 arrest tally, which involved cases running the gamut from child pornography to simple prostitution, included 30 Cambodians, 12 Chinese, six Vietnamese, one Vietnamese-Chinese, one Malaysian, one Turk and one Briton, according to the report. All were subsequently sent to court.
Police also claimed to have rescued 71 victims – 14 of them minors – during the busts. At least seven minors remain in the custody of Phnom Penh’s Social Affairs Department, which plans to educate and train them in vocational skills. The rest were sent back to their guardians.
The report noted that the police encountered difficulties during the crackdowns given that some of the perpetrators, Cambodian and foreigner alike, were affluent and had considerable government clout.
Some business owners also were noted as failing to cooperate with authorities over indecent activities performed in their workplace.
“The fight against human trafficking requires cooperation between all stakeholders, including families of the victims as well,” said deputy municipal police chief Prum Santhor.