Presiding over the 2006 stocktaking and 2007 directives setting meeting of the National Council for Women (NCW), Samdech Hun Sen delivered a prepared address with the following selected comments:
On Judicial Irregularity vis à vis Human Traffickers
I wish to illustrate the concern of the Royal Government and concerned institutions on issue of repeated irregularities in the trials relating to human traffickers in Chhay Huor Hotel that the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh decided to be guilty. It is absurd that when the issue is being brought to the Appeal Court, the case has been marked to have no sufficient proof. Traffickers involved have been set free. Why there was no effort to lodge an appeal? It was our lack of pursuing the matter. The Ministry of Women Affairs – the principal Ministry – has the responsibility in seeing this matter of human trafficking case through.
It is indeed a repetitive issue in the action against trafficking of human and in this case women as proven to be conducted by the Hotel Chhay Huor are getting the same verdict under arrest. I advise that this matter be brought to the attention of the Council of Magistracy as to why the Appeal Court ordered the release of the offenders captured from Chhay Huor Hotel. Though the same offenders has been arrested and placed in custody, the Royal Government should conduct a study as to why the person was being released before by the Appeal Court? The Royal Government has to sue for re-investigation of the previous case. We are in search for an appropriate explanation. What else do they need as proof?
It might be interesting also to know who is behind this guilty person as I sometimes hear they say that there were interventions from so and so. But I want to hear frankly from whom? Now we have to fight on the same issue. This has in fact been an insult to the plaintiff and in this case the Royal Government. I would urge concerned institutions to keep close pursuit to the issue and do not feel hesitant to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
On Cambodian Laborers to Foreign Countries
Cambodia has sent some of its laborers to foreign countries. If we were to have budget we would send an attaché to every Cambodian embassy to oversee the issue of laborers. People from the Ministry of Labor should be designated to this task. In case of difficulties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor should try and cooperate so that our staff from embassies could be brought back for necessary training in relation to labor protection, which I would say is an alternative choice. Those chosen for this task could be councilors or chief councilors from embassies in which countries in representation have Cambodian laborers. These are two options that we must giver consideration on.
Laborers and embassies must go to see one another and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be a contact point. The Philippines sent out thousands of laborers every year, and some of them ended up in Cambodia – like musicians, etc. Cambodia sends its laborers to countries in the region whereas those countries send their laborers to other markets in the world.
On Future Tasks
I received a letter from the NCW concerning the lack of budget and means of transports. I have sent to the Ministry of Finance and Economy my request to increase the 2008 budget from 200 to 400 million Riels and in 2007 for a van and a pickup truck. I have discussed this issue with HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers Sok An and decided that while incorporating the budget to 2008, the Royal Government issued for immediate needs the budget of 200 million Riels and purchasing two cars under the 2008 budget from the current reserve package of the Royal Government…/.