The Ministry of Interior has received 186 complaints and reports related to human trafficking, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said at a meeting in Preah Sihanouk province on September 12 on the fight against human, labour and sex trafficking.

“Today’s meeting is part of additional support for the anti-human trafficking taskforces in Preah Sihanouk province that are faced with these kinds of offences,” Minister of Interior Kheng said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group Licadho, expressed concern over the current situation regarding human trafficking in Cambodia, despite the government having put in place measures to combat it.

He highlighted cases caused by foreign criminals on Cambodian territory, which had resulted in some countries calling on their nationals to exercise caution regarding labour fraud and human trafficking while in the Kingdom.

“We see that the government is improving its mechanisms and measures to prevent human trafficking, but the important thing is commitment,” said Sam Ath.

The Cambodian government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, recently denied reports that the situation regarding human trafficking and labour fraud in Cambodia was a serious problem.

Sam Ath called on the Cambodian government to strengthen its law enforcement in addition to the existing laws and mechanisms.

On July 20, the US Department of State downgraded Cambodia human trafficking status, claiming that foreign human trafficking into Cambodia, as well other abuses related to labour and migrant workers, was increasing.

On July 23, Minister of Interior Kheng voiced his determination to investigate human trafficking, and address the concerns related to the blacklisting, with Cambodia at risk of additional sanctions.