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

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not