Minister of Interior Sar Sokha has reiterated the government’s strong commitment to combating all forms of human trafficking, saying that he personally regards it as one of the cruellest and the most disgusting crimes.

His remarks came as he addressed a function marking National Anti-Human Trafficking Day, held in Phnom Penh on December 12.

“We remain committed to combating all forms of human trafficking as well as any other criminal offences that plague us or threaten society. These kinds of crimes tarnish the honour, dignity and interests of the people and the nation,” he said.

He noted that human trafficking and human rights violations are a global concern, and are not limited to Cambodia. It is important that the Kingdom play a role in eliminating, curbing and preventing these kinds of offences.

He called on all relevant state institutions and partner organisations to collaborate and work against any trafficking that occurs, especially when it involves cross-border transport.

Chou Bun Eng, interior ministry secretary of state and permanent vice-chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), said the day was observed to raise awareness of human trafficking offences, as well as the tricks employed by traffickers, noting that both have evolved in complex, brutal ways.

She added that the raising of public awareness demonstrates the government’s commitment to fighting human trafficking. She hopes the campaign will encourage more people to join in curbing offences and punishing perpetrators, as well as rescuing victims and providing them with support services, in order o render the Kingdom free from trafficking.

“We hope that all domestic and international media outlets will join us in sharing information from Cambodia, as well as our efforts to curb and eliminate human trafficking and protect people of all ages and colours, in order to enhance the prestige of the nation,” she said.

According to Bun Eng, in the past 16 months, the NCCT has received 1,276 enquiries and investigated 1,213 of them, almost 98 per cent.

The enquiries were received via the official Facebook page of former interior minister Sar Kheng, the National Police and the general department of immigration, as well directly through the NCCT secretariat.

“In addition, we are consistently carrying out our mission of investigating and raiding all locations suspected of producing pornography, and referring all suspects to the courts,” said Bun Eng. 

“The figures are the tangible number of crimes we have discovered within the Cambodian territory. This clearly proves that there cannot be as many as 100,000 victims detained or confined through gambling scams in Cambodia, as has been alleged,” she stressed.