The National Police collaborated with the Child Protection Unit (CPU) over the weekend to warn 40 owners of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Phnom Penh about the consequences related to human trafficking.
Phnom Penh municipal police chief Sar Thet told The Post on Monday that the warnings were meant to prevent human and child trafficking and remind the owners of the serious punishments attached to the offences.
“This is a good measure for businesspeople involved with bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. This operation is just to introduce them to the laws so that they know in advance.
“This operation does not mean we are accusing the owners of committing any crimes,” he said.
CPU executive director James McCabe said on Monday that the organisation is busy fighting against juvenile trafficking.
“The purpose of the operation is to remind bar owners of the laws in regards to the employment of juveniles in the bar industry.
“Cambodia has strong laws preventing the exploitation of minors and with the potential economic issues caused by Covid-19, we felt it was a good time to ensure that the bar industry was reminded of the laws and penalties if they are breached,” he said.
He said the National Police and CPU will continue to monitor the bar industry to ensure that the potential for exploitation of children is minimised.
Almost all of the bars visited were appreciative of the support and were complying with the law, he said.