The Interior Ministry in their annual report said law enforcement agents cracked down on 163 human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases last year, an increase of 29 when compared to the same period in 2018.
The report, obtained yesterday, said there were 134 cases in 2018.
Interior Ministry officials held meetings to discuss the figures over the last two days.
General Por Pheak, secretary-general of the ministry’s general secretariat, said police officers sent 219 suspects to court for their alleged involvement in human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases, while 438 victims were rescued.
Gen Pheak said 165 victims were rehabilitated by the Social Affairs Ministry, while 273 were returned home.
The report said this is considered a good result, but victimisation is still a concern.
“All ministries and institutions must increase monitoring in both national and regional frameworks,” it said.
De The Hoya, a programme officer with the labour rights group Central, yesterday said employment brokers still traffic women abroad.
“Human trafficking cases still happen because of a lack of education – migrant workers are still at risk of being trafficked abroad,” Mr The Hoya said. “Cracking down on human trafficking is not yet effective because fraudulent documents are used by people going abroad.”
He said law enforcement agents must cooperate with NGOs to combat human trafficking.
Chan Thavy, director of the Pailin provincial women’s affairs department, yesterday said three minors trafficked abroad were recently rescued after they tried to cross the Thai border.
“Brokers try to cheat victims by offering jobs abroad,” Ms Thavy said. “Victims must pay attention and avoid being cheated by them.”
Officials from the National Committee for Counter Trafficking on Tuesday held a meeting with officials from the Pailin city Migrant Transit Centre to discuss their protection readiness and identify causes of human trafficking.
Chou Bun Eng, the vice-chairwoman of the NCCT, said the government is aiming to facilitate legal migration and reduce illegal migration to curb human trafficking.