As part of its ongoing capacity-building drive, the Ministry of Justice is holding another three-day training course on human trafficking for prosecutors, investigating judges and law enforcement officials.
The April 4-6 course aims to provide them with the necessary knowledge to effectively deal with witnesses, who are often also victims, by learning communications skills that facilitate the gathering of evidence while also being appropriately sensitive to the sometimes traumatic experiences they have just undergone.
The training course, conducted in Preah Sihanouk province, is organised in cooperation with the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions and ASEAN-Australia Counter Trafficking (ASEAN-ACT) officials.
Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said that, in principle, this area of human resource development is prioritised to encourage officials to implement the laws efficiently, noting that it was just one of many training sessions they do each year.
“We are here to sharpen skills and strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials so that we can continue to meet Cambodia's needs and support social development,” he added.
Rights group ADHOC spokesman Soeng Sen Karuna noted that human trafficking in Cambodia is split into two main problems.
In the past, human trafficking was limited to schemes were Cambodians were lured abroad and then trafficked for their labour or sexual purposes, with the offenders often being corrupt job or marriage brokers, he explained.
However, today a new problem has arisen where foreigners are being lured to Cambodia and exploited by organised foreign criminal groups, who are reportedly running illegal online gambling sites or that are engaged in fraud like "cat fishing" schemes via social media.
“These are the two big trends that I've noticed. The most important thing is that we improve the capacity of our law enforcement officials and ensure that they are effectively implementing the laws without exception. That's what will stop human trafficking," he said.
Attendees include judges and prosecutors from Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampot, Kep, Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces, with training and seminars given by experts from ASEAN-ACT.