Siem Reap joins worldwide march against forced illegal gambling labor thru human trafficking
PHNOM PENH – A21 Cambodia, in partnership with the Siem Reap provincial committee for countering human trafficking, on Sunday held a “walk to end human trafficking” march in Siem Reap to raise public awareness about the issue.
Kristen Scharf, country manager of A21 Cambodia, said at the event that A21 was an international NGO determined to eradicate human trafficking through awareness raising, interventions to rescue victims and aftercare services for them.
The walk to end human trafficking is an annual event that takes place all over the world in order to raise global awareness and inspire local actions to combat human trafficking, she said.
“For Cambodia, this is the first time that this event was organised in partnership with the national and provincial committees for counter-trafficking and the local community. We are excited to officially launch the walk in Cambodia,” she said.
About 600 people showed up and took part in the walk to spread awareness and help prevent human trafficking, while thousands more onlookers from the general public of the town witnessed the procession.
Chou Bun Eng, permanent vice-chair of the National Committee for Counter-Trafficking (NCCT), told The Post that the “walk to end human trafficking” event was not done in other provinces this year and was a one-off event in Cambodia organized by the A21 Foundation.
“We do it to show our willingness to combat human trafficking and we want to gain people’s attention about what we are doing and its purposes. I think it is a good thing to raise our people’s awareness about this topic.
“Our country has a lot of programmes related to this campaign, such as inter-religious national day against trafficking on December 12, and many other smaller programmes,” she said.
The NCCT said last week that in the 51 days from August 18 to October 4, authorities investigated 420 cases of alleged human trafficking.
The committee said that the police conducted searches and investigations and found 229 instances of various crimes related to human trafficking, including 118 victims of five nationalities who had suffered through illegal detention, extortion, torture, human trafficking, and prostitution while being forced to work for illegal online gambling operations or as online scammers.
The NCCT further stated that police arrested 67 Cambodian and foreign suspects whose cases were sent to court.