The Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), recently initiated training courses in Prey Veng and Kampong Thom provinces.

These courses aim to help local authorities identify survivors of human trafficking and ensure they receive timely support services.

Held in Phnom Penh on August 23, key figures such as ministry secretary of state Chou Bun Eng and IOM Cambodia chief of mission Kristin Parco oversaw the training.

Participants included governors and their deputies and police chiefs from both provinces.

"The purpose of this curriculum is to bolster the ability of our sub-national officials to detect, interview, and gather data on suspected human trafficking survivors, ensuring they receive swift protection and support," she said.

"Local officials under the National Committee on Counter-Trafficking [NCCT] have a well-defined structure. However, it's troubling that it allows criminals to act. We want more than just names on paper; we need genuine action," she added.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group LICADHO, highlighted the global concern surrounding human trafficking.

"Whether in Cambodia or elsewhere, human trafficking remains an issue. The US government even places Cambodia on a human trafficking blacklist," he said.

He stressed that Cambodia must adopt effective strategies to assist and rehabilitate individuals who have endured human trafficking.

"At present, the aid local authorities offer to trafficking survivors is both limited and slow. Notably, there's a shortage of temporary shelters for survivors attending court proceedings. Issues concerning the safety and wellbeing of survivors and their families are crucial," he added.

He voiced hope that the recent training would lead local authorities to enhancing their protective measures for human trafficking survivors.