Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Figures ‘hiding’ human trafficking

Figures ‘hiding’ human trafficking

Figures ‘hiding’ human trafficking

The US yesterday launched a US$5 million anti-human trafficking program in Cambodia, but according to a government audit of the US’s first counter-trafficking effort in Kingdom, significant challenges still need to be overcome.

The Counter-Trafficking in Persons II program (CTIP II) is a four-year effort that the US Embassy hopes “will build upon the notable achievements of CTIP I”, which originally ran from August 2006 until June 2009, and then received a two-year extension through last September.

However, the CTIP I program contained critical weaknesses, according to a 2009 audit by USAID’s Office of Inspector General.

”Without estimates of the scope of human trafficking to use as baselines in project locations, it is difficult to determine where interventions are most needed and would have the greatest impact,” it said, citing US Government Accountability Office reports.

Eric Meldrum, operations director for South East Asian Investigations in Social and Humanitarian Activities, an anti-human-trafficking organisation that was named as one of the sub-partners of the CTIP II program, echoed this need for more accurate statistics.

“Identifying traffic victims is problematic in this country,” he said, adding that the figures released by the government were much lower than the actual scope of the problem.

These deflated numbers make trafficking an “invisible crime”, he said, and therefore put less “onus” on government officials.

Like its predecessor, the multi-million dollar CTIP II program will focus on the areas of prevention, protection and prosecution.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Cambodian women diving deep, going far

    There is a saying in Khmer that “women cannot dive deep or go far”. The meaning is that women should not stray too far from their traditional gender roles. But when Menno de Block, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, took a good look around his