Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trafficking fight goes on: gov’t

Trafficking fight goes on: gov’t

Photos of women who were allegedly trafficked to China and South Korea
Photos of women who were allegedly trafficked to China and South Korea by a marriage brokerage based in Phnom Penh last year sit on the floor of a police station. Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Trafficking fight goes on: gov’t

Although human-trafficking cases dealt with by the Ministry of Interior decreased significantly in 2013, suggesting progress was being made in tackling the crime, trafficking in persons continues to be a major challenge for the government, the ministry said in its annual report on Tuesday.

According to a presentation made by ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak on Tuesday, the number of human trafficking cases cracked down upon by authorities decreased from 135 in 2012 to 93 in 2013.

The number of suspects sent to court dropped from 168 to 116, while the number of trafficked persons rescued was cut in half, going from 523 to 256.

“Even though crackdowns on human and sexual trafficking cases has gone down, it is still happening and it [presents] a challenge for society, [this includes] the exploitation of women and children, and in particular migrant workers and trafficked brides leaving the country,” Sopheak said.

According to the report, 482,160 Cambodians left to work abroad last year, with 355,525 of those doing so legally and 15,298 being under-age.

Moeun Tola, labour program head at the Community Legal Education Center, said that cases of human trafficking had only fallen due to a decrease in complaints, rather than the fact that trafficking was actually being tackled effectively.

“In fact, the situation of human trafficking is still a major problem.… This is because our Cambodian workers still need to [try to] go abroad to earn higher wages,” he said.

Choun Chamrong, head of women and children’s rights at rights group ADHOC, said that woman and children were most at risk from trafficking, though Cambodian men were still often trafficked as fishermen.

Pich Vanna, director of the Cambodian-Thai Border Relations Office, said that workers who crossed the border illegally were often helpless if problems arose abroad.

A 2013 US State Department report found that the government did “not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment