The leadership of the Secretariat of the Siem Reap provincial committee for counter-trafficking urges local authorities, law enforcement forces and partner organisations to step up joint efforts to prevent and combat all forms of online child abuse.

The committee made the call during a May 25 meeting chaired by You Sophea, deputy provincial governor and head of the committee. The meeting was attended by the relevant departments and units and representatives of various partner organisations, according to the provincial information department.

Sophea told the participants that in the province, human trafficking and sexual exploitation remain complicated issues, with perpetrators often employing legal businesses as cover to exploit people.

She said sexual exploitation can happen through entertainment services, karaoke and massage parlours, beer gardens, and through engagements or marriages abroad via tourist visas, among other means.

“Therefore, it is necessary for us to step up our joint efforts. We must all remain vigilant, because now is the age of information technology. Children are the bamboo shoots that will become the pillars of society and therefore must be protected,” she said.

The meeting participants examined a draft report for May and discussed some of the challenges that the working group has identified in the fight against human trafficking, in all its forms. The meeting also raised several issues to find joint solutions to protect the vulnerable from cross-border smuggling.

“The Siem Reap committee set its working direction. The planning was actively participated in by the officers of the relevant departments and local authorities, as well as domestic and international NGOs and UN agencies,” added the information department.