The National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) led a delegation to participate in the 1st International Migration Review Forum on the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), to be held at the UN headquarters in New York City from May 17-20.

The GCM was the first comprehensive UN framework adopted through inter-governmental dialogue to improve international cooperation in global migration governance. It was agreed by 152 member countries of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The Cambodian delegation is being led by Chou Bun Eng – the Ministry of Interior’s secretary of state and permanent vice-chair of the NCCT – and Nhek Vannara, secretary of state at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation who also serves as deputy head of the NCCT’s victim protection working group.

Bun Eng said that Cambodia – a “leading” nation in the implementation of the UN Covenant –was now on the list of Champion Countries, and was invited by UNGA president Abdula Shahid to attend the meeting.

“At the forum, delegations from champion countries will exchange information – as well as their experiences – in implementing the GCM with other nations around the world,” she said.

According to Bun Eng, the GCM was adopted in December 2018, with Cambodia being a member state of the Covenant. The Kingdom was fully involved in the consultation process and participated in the ratification of the GCM.

The Kingdom remains committed to protecting the rights, interests and dignity of workers who are Cambodian citizens, as well as foreign workers who come to work in the country, she said.

She added that Cambodia is also committed to addressing the challenges that workers face during labour migration, as well as to promoting the values of labour migration and cooperation between the sending and receiving countries in the management and protection of migrant workers.

Moeun Tola, executive director of the Centre for Alliances of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL), said it was good to be involved in exchanging experiences as it will help Cambodia to grow its networks in the area of combating those who profit from illegal migrant workers. He said perpetrators have many methods of human trafficking.

What was crucial was the effective implementation of local law, which ought to be a priority task, he added.

“We have participated in many experience exchange sessions, even in the context of Covid-19, but the most important thing is to enforce the law locally. We have very strict laws, but they need to be enforced effectively. It’s important that our judiciary remains independent and dares to deal with all brokers – whether they have networks with powerful people or not,” he said.