A government spokesman yesterday shrugged off an amendment to a US congressional bill made last week that sought to lower Cambodia’s human trafficking ranking.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan downplayed the amendment, saying Cambodia does not make policy based on outside opinions. “We create policy for Cambodians, not the grades or rankings of the outside world,” he said.
He also said that the Kingdom’s human trafficking record had improved greatly over the past year and that “the people in Washington do not understand that and do not have the right facts and information”.
Last week, senior US Representative Ed Royce, an outspoken critic of the Cambodian government, added an amendment to a bill reauthorising the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which funds
the US State Department division responsible for monitoring and combating human trafficking.
The Royce amendment called for Cambodia to be downgraded from a “Tier 2” country to a “Tier 3” country.
The tier-based system is used by the State Department to rank countries based on how well they combat human trafficking. Tier 3 countries are considered to be making insufficient efforts to comply with the minimum standards and can face sanctions.