Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trafficking complaints down, authorities claim

Trafficking complaints down, authorities claim

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Victims of human trafficking were excused and sent to Cambodia last month. POLICE

Trafficking complaints down, authorities claim

From August 18 last year to April 17, the authorities responded to 850 human trafficking complaints, rescuing more than 2,000 foreigners, according to a senior official.

Khieu Sopheak, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, said the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) rescued 2,132 people, with more than 2,000 of them repatriated to their homelands.

“Most of the requests for assistance were received from the victims’ families, with some made directly by trafficked individuals,” he noted.

Sopheak also acknowledged that more than 100 complaints had resulted in no action.

He said that in the course of the operations, 129 suspects were arrested and five companies were shut down. Several more were temporarily suspended pending investigation, he added, noting that 44 requests for assistance in locating 177 people remained under investigation.

“In the past, there were very few complaints, but the cases grew until we were receiving five or 10 a day. Happily, I am glad to say the figures are now declining. We now intend to broaden our activities to include money-laundering,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group LICADHO, said on April 18 that while there appeared to be less cases reported than previously, he believed the problem persisted.

“Tackling all forms of human trafficking requires Cambodia’s continued commitment,” he said, while acknowledging that the Kingdom had made serous attempts to step up enforcement.

But Sam Ath was of the view that awaiting formal complaints is not the most effective way to eliminate the problem, and that more public engagement is needed.

“This will only be achieved if it is easy to share information, rather than being intimidated into doing so,” he said.

Sopheak, however, stressed that the authorities encourage individuals to share information.

“Information can be shared in person, by phone, or through social media channels,” he said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm