Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng vows to redouble gov’t anti-trafficking efforts

Sar Kheng vows to redouble gov’t anti-trafficking efforts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Interior minister Sar Kheng leads a planning meeting on human trafficking on August 9. INTERIOR MINISTRY

Sar Kheng vows to redouble gov’t anti-trafficking efforts

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who also serves as chairman of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), said the fight against all forms of human trafficking, including labour trafficking and sexual exploitation, is important for the protection of human rights as well as being tied to the combating of terrorism and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Sar Kheng was speaking at an opening August 9 meeting to disseminate a plan to increase the fight against all forms of human trafficking, labour trafficking and sexual trafficking in Cambodia, after the US Department of State downgraded the country to Tier 3 status in its efforts to fight human trafficking.

In July, the US Department of State downgraded Cambodia to Tier 3 status due to what it considered an increase in the trafficking of foreigners to the Kingdom and what it described as the government’s limited attempts to combat the problem.

Sar Kheng opined that no matter how the US ranks the Kingdom, the Cambodian government will be continuing its fight against human trafficking.

“Working groups are working on this task responsibly with continual results, despite facing some issues,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group LICADHO, told The Post on August 10 that this meeting was important for finding more mechanisms and means to prevent and combat human trafficking more effectively in Cambodia to get a better ranking next year.

He said Cambodia dropping to third tier status could have a lot of negative impacts on tourism, investment, business and other sectors. Therefore, Cambodia must further strengthen its mechanisms, policies and means of fighting human trafficking, especially by strengthening the effective implementation of existing laws and cooperating with countries in the region as well as internationally to prevent trafficking.

“This third tier status is not a good thing for Cambodia’s reputation. Now, we can see that the domestic and international media have published stories related to that, especially foreigners purportedly being trafficked into Cambodian territory,” he said.

Kirth Chantharith, head of the interior ministry’s General Department of Immigration, said the government has been strongly committed to combating human trafficking, labour trafficking and sexual exploitation, especially of women and children, to protect people domestically and abroad as well as foreigners who are living in Cambodia to prevent the catastrophe of modern slavery.

He said the government, with the NCCT as the staff, has set out the principles, plans and measures as a priority and is leading the implementation of this work with many fruitful results.

He added that this included raising public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, perpetrators’ tricks and launching active operations to crack down on human trafficking cases, thereby freeing thousands of victims and supporting their successful reintegration into the community.

According to Chantharith, the government’s commitment and efforts among relevant ministries and institutions at all levels have led to a reduction in the number of trafficking victims and bringing safety, security and development to Cambodian society.

However, he said that Cambodia still faces many challenges posed by ambitious criminals, including economic and political factors, and all of these issues have affected national prestige and the Kingdom’s socio-economic development strategies and has even affected the rights, welfare and livelihoods of some people.

“In order to intensify the fight against human trafficking, labour trafficking and sexual trafficking in Cambodia, the NCCT has launched an important action plan related to education, implementation of administrative and legal measures and international cooperation,” he said.


  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a