The National Committee for Counter Trafficking cracked down on 131 human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases from January to last month, an increase of 22 cases over the same period last year.
Chou Bun Eng, an Interior Ministry secretary of state and also NCCT vice chairwoman, yesterday said 128 cases were sent to the municipal and provincial courts for further action, 35 more than during the same period last year.
She was speaking after a meeting to review NCCT’s work carried out over the past ten months and discuss its future actions, including collaborating with relevant ministries, departments and institutions at both the national and sub-national levels.
“The increase in crackdowns and convictions does not mean that crime has increased, but it is due to the efforts from the authorities to curb such activities,” Ms Bun Eng noted. “Therefore, it’s a positive sign and we will continue to put in more effort to prevent these offences.”
During the meeting, NCCT also reviewed how well it had met targets it had set out for the second half of the year.
These include widening cooperation with relevant partners, improving effectiveness to combat all forms of human trafficking and strengthening the capacity of officials at the sub-national level.
The targets also involve informing the public, especially youths and vulnerable people, about laws and policies to fight human trafficking, sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and other related offences.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department yesterday began a five-day training course on “Police Tactical Operations and Firearm Training” to municipal police officers at the National Police headquarters in collaboration with AIM SWAT and Joy International.
Department director Lieutenant General Chhiv Phally said at the event that the training aimed to further strengthen the officers’ capabilities to crack down on crime, teach them techniques to arrest suspects, improve self-defence skills and the ability to use firearms and administrating first aid.
He also urged the police officers to strengthen their capacity in cracking down on human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
“Through this training, I hope to provide more experience and knowledge towards the progress in combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children,” he said.
Kim Rattana, executive director of Caritas Cambodia, said recently that although the government and civil society groups have made achievements in combating human trafficking, the problem persists not only in Cambodia, but also in the region.
He said commitment is required to prevent human trafficking.
“This requires real commitment and participation from all related stakeholders,” he said. “We all must help to disseminate information and raise awareness among people in order to prevent human trafficking and modern-day slavery.”