Highly Respected Venerable Monks,
Samdach Kralahom SAR KHENG, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, Chair of the National Committee of Anti-Human Trafficking,
Excellencies, Ambassadors, Representatives of All Diplomats in the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Excellencies, Lok Oknha, Ladies and Gentlemen, Government Officials, Armed Forces, Professors, Fellow Students and Lovable Citizens!
Today, my wife and I have a great honor and pleasure to attend this National Day of Anti-Human Trafficking, 12thDecember 2015, which is holding at this moment. At the outset, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to express my full support to competent authorities in all levels, armed forces, national and international civil society organizations, private sector, as well as other countries in the region and the world that have been taking relentless measures in combating the current human trafficking problem.
Indeed, this 12th December, National Day of Anti-Human Trafficking is not only the opportunities to remind our dear fellow citizens, especially youths to be aware of the dangers and severed impacts caused by human trafficking, but also to express the willingness and promote for greater active participation, more comprehensive and effective movement against human trafficking as well.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to appreciate the concrete efforts made by leaders and officials of all ministries-institutions, in both national and under-national levels, as well as both national and international non-governmental organizations, and private sector that have been working together to address challenges with tirelessness, fully combatting criminal actions in parallel with policy direction of the Royal Government of Cambodia. Obviously, without this effort, the human trafficking situation will evolve adversely, widely, and it might not be able to maintain social stability and national security as of today. However, even though we all know that the human trafficking, sexual exploitation against women and children, domestic violence, rapes and drugs have been prevented and addressed with remarkable results, these issues still remain our challenge. This requires us to pay further attention and gather our efforts together in wining and solving for the purpose of maximum reduction of the negative impacts and other threats of this human trafficking action from our society and to enable our fellow citizens, especially Cambodia’s youths, women, children to have full opportunity in education to actively contribute to our national socio-economic development.
Samdech, Excellencies, Lok Onha, Ladies and Gentlemen, and the Whole Meeting!
Indeed, “Human Being” is a potential labor force for development in all sectors. It is necessary that this labor force receives care, protection and encouragement to have rights and benefits in accordance with efforts, technical skills, and innovations in participating in the development to promote growths and ensure national economic growth, security, and social stability. With the aim of putting effort in this task, Royal Government, in 2003, have adopted instruction on “Management of Labor Force and Flow of Immigrants”, which is a strategy to maintain the balance of national development force by; on the one hand, considering the promotion of citizens’ livelihood through providing career and job opportunity both inside and outside the country and on the other hand, considering the care of labor force which is needed to improve skill and technical quality for serving the national development of all sectors that are increasing remarkably in both agricultural, industrial, trade, tourism, and construction sector. However, due to the lack of accurate information made available to our fellow citizens, it has led immigrants to risks, dangerous adventures, abuses and exploitation in all aspects. In addition, since the human being is a potential labor force for work, an economic resource, criminals always seek all means to keep people as capital and subject people for trafficking and exploiting in different forms.
Overall, taking risky cross border migration without preparation could easily let you fall into the trap of human trafficking and smuggling and could be exploited easily. As a consequence, families whose members are illegal immigrants and suffering from the trafficking, not only receive nothing from this immigration, but also add burden to the entire family and fall back into poverty trap. Meanwhile, the little income has been spent mostly at those destination countries and then they are subject to the law practice of those countries and further abuse and exploitation of the criminals. Obviously, there are many workers being jailed in the destination countries, having no information and no solutions, some losing their lives, other becoming cripple, some getting drug and losing their minds or being sent back with nothing left. Indeed, human trafficking occur in many countries across the region and the world, a transnational crime among others, which has been destroying humanity in all forms and scenarios and is spreading fast in the region strife with internal conflict and war causing massive migration.
The aforementioned issues are our major concerns which we have worked hard to address in order to protect our fellow Cambodians. At the same time, the RGC know that a number of legal Cambodian migrants working overseas have earned substantial income and received full legal protection, enabling them to improve their family’s living standard and bringing back good experiences to start new business and advance careers with improved household livelihoods.
In general, to tackle human trafficking and exploitation in all forms, in 1996 the RGC adopted the Law on Suppression of the Kidnapping and Trafficking of Human Persons and the Exploitation of Human Persons; and since 2006, Cambodia has also become a member of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. However, due to the complicated nature of the crime with interwoven network crossing from one country to another, the implementation of the laws to prevent, suppress, rescue and punish perpetrators cannot be carried by neither a ministry nor a country alone, it requires close cooperation between nations with strong will and resolve so that such a crime can be gradually reduced and eventually eliminated.
In this regard, the RGC has signed memorandums as well as bilateral and multi-lateral agreements in the Mekong Sub-Region to jointly combat human trafficking. Cambodia is also ready to sign agreements with the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia in due course. Recently, on 21st November 2015 after Plenary Session of the 27th ASEAN Summit, I also signed ASEAN Declaration against Trafficking in Persons Particularly Women and Children. The declaration reflects strong determination of the 10 ASEAN Member States in ASEAN Community in the joint efforts to: (1). prevent and suppress trafficking in persons, especially focus on punishing traffickers, (2). protect and assist the victims with full respect for the rights of the victims, and (3). enhance cooperation amongst relevant stakeholders in response to such a transnational crime.
On top of this, the RGC has established a comprehensive national mechanism, National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) that is held accountable for leading and coordinating with line ministries and institutions in the government to jointly collaborate and adopt measures that are efficient, consistent and complementary. This mechanism covers national, sub-national and international level for the implementation of laws, principles, and measures, coupled with national and international standards in order to combat trafficking in persons. As a member of the Committee, Samdech KralaHom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, is responsible for this work by ensuring good cooperation among ministries, institutions, national and international development partners, and private sector to simultaneously take actions towards a common goal, that is to say the eradication of all forms of human trafficking.
With regard to these, relevant ministries and institutions need to discuss report and jointly solve common and specific issues by not leaving these problems to become cancerous, which is difficult to cure. Negligence and carelessness in solving problems impose hardships upon people and present opportunity for the criminals to take advantage in luring our people into human trafficking and exploitation on our people, which would unknowingly cause difficulty to the country at last.
On this occasion, I forewarn all the officials, who have colluded with the criminals involving in human trafficking, must stop immediately. Any government officials are found to conduct or cooperate with the criminals to benefit, either legally or illegally, from human trafficking will be severely punished with no exception.
Once again, I would like to send a message in today’s forum of National Day against Human Trafficking to our fellow countrymen nationwide as well as overseas about the RGC’s commitments in combating human trafficking as follows:
1st: For now and in the future, the RGC will exert greater efforts in overcoming obstacles and addressing any issues in the cause of promoting human rights, human dignity and legitimate benefits of every Cambodian people
2nd: The RGC is committed to fully opposing human trafficking especially on women and children, and cooperate with other involved countries both in the region and the world to eradicate human trafficking.
3rd: Increase the efforts to strengthen effective implementation of laws, conventions, international covenants, memorandums, bilateral and multi-lateral agreements, national plans and joint action plans, and all regulations.
4th: Support and encourage NCCT’s efforts in building capacity and ability in fulfilling their duty successfully.
Before concluding, I would like to urge Samdech, Excellencies, ladies, gentlemen, private sector, national and international civil society, development partners, UN agencies, and our fellow Cambodians to continue their efforts and participation in combating trafficking more rigorously and effectively in order to eliminate human trafficking. I would like to dedicate this event to instill the mindset of shared action in promoting people’s engagement in anti-human trafficking in all places and regions.
Finally, on the occasion of National Day of Anti-Human Trafficking on 12th December 2015, my wife and I would like to wish venerable monks, Samdech, Excellencies, ladies, gentlemen, students and fellow compatriots the four gems of Buddha’s blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.