Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday during the 12th Asean-China Prosecutors-General Conference in Siem Reap province called on Asean and China to cooperate in the fight against human trafficking and other cross-border crimes.
The Kingdom is hosting the conference until today. The theme is: “The Role of Prosecutors in Regionally Combating Human Trafficking”.
“Human trafficking, exploitation of labour, sex trafficking, child labour and organ trafficking are serious crimes,” Mr Hun Sen said. “It is necessary for Asean and China to pay attention and join together to prevent them.”
He noted the Kingdom has always tried its best to prevent these crimes by strengthening laws and cracking down on suspects.
“Our measures of preventing, cracking down on and convicting perpetrators are very important. My government is paying attention,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“Human trafficking is a global issue, which is hard and complicated because it involves illegal transnational offences,” he added. “Asean and China need to unite and cooperate with transparency.”
Mr Hun Sen noted Asean and China have different laws, but they can still work together because there are cooperation agreements between the two entities.
Mr Hun Sen also highlighted the need for regular meetings between Chinese and Asean prosecutors to solve common problems.
“For example, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have a lot of migrant workers in Thailand. They are mostly legal, but some workers were cheated by [criminal] ringleaders – we have 50,000 workers in South Korea and Vietnam has 200,000 workers there and some of them were cheated even though we were very strict in sending them there,” he said.
“Those ringleaders are exploiting the blood of our workers,” Mr Hun Sen added. “We need to protect our people through the duties of our prosecutors.”
Chea Leang, prosecutor-general of the Supreme Court, yesterday said Asean and Chinese prosecutors during the conference will discuss how to solve common problems.
“Prosecutor-generals of each country will increase their experience in the fight against human trafficking,” Ms Leang said. “We have similar anti-human trafficking laws, but our law enforcement [agencies] are not effective enough.”
“We have no [regional] joint investigations yet because we do not yet have the procedure,” she added. “We still do not have specific treaties or agreements, such as extradition agreements, to fight against human trafficking.”
Kin Phea, director-general of International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday agreed with Mr Hun Sen. He said Asean-China cooperation on human trafficking and other transnational crimes is important.
“Asean and China are very diverse in terms of legal systems, political regimes and economic status,” Mr Phea said. “However, we have been facing common challenges such as human trafficking.”
“Joint efforts made by Asean and China are very crucial to solve these challenges in the region,” he added. “We do not have the same laws, but our challenges are the same. It is very important for China and Asean to strengthen law enforcement…cooperation to fight against human trafficking, cross-border crimes and smuggling.”