Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US funding wildlife crimes training for court officials

US funding wildlife crimes training for court officials

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
WCS Cambodia and the justice ministry provide training on wildlife crimes to court officials on February 21-25. WCS CAMBODIA

US funding wildlife crimes training for court officials

The Ministry of Justice and Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia (WCS Cambodia) conducted the first training courses on “Skills to Address International Wildlife Trafficking for Cambodian Prosecutors and Judges”. The courses run from February 21-25 and are funded by the US government’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) fund.

The ministry’s Department of Criminal Law Research and Training said the course was divided into two sessions, each of which lasted two and a half days with 50 prosecutors and judges from the capital and provinces attending. This course is conducted to boost the attendees’ basic knowledge of wildlife trafficking and improve their skills at prosecuting these crimes effectively.

“The training had a strong focus on the management of investigations, search and analysis of evidence, charges, mutual legal aid in the criminal sector and sentencing,” it said in a Facebook post.

WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha said on February 24 that most prosecutors and judges had a limited understanding of wildlife trafficking issues. Most of the time, the judges and prosecutors tended to use forestry laws to prosecute cases.

“In these training sessions, we discussed areas of the law outside of forestry, environmental protection, or protected area laws. There are many conventions and international laws that could be used to prosecute these cases more efficiently, and now the attendees are more aware of their options,” he said.

Rotha said international wildlife trafficking was one of the major threats to biodiversity conservation work.

“The courts play an important role in combating wildlife trafficking. WCS is committed to – and continues to support the government’s efforts to – end wildlife trafficking and build a world where wildlife and humans can live in harmony,” he said.

Rotha noted that the illegal wildlife trade in the Kingdom has two different aspects. The first is the use of Cambodia as a transit to smuggle cross-border wildlife products to other countries, such as rhinoceros horn or ivory. The second is the trade in domestic wildlife, where traders come to buy native animals like tortoises, snakes, turtles, pangolins, muntjacs or wild boars.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10