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4 Dec 2020

Voun Dara, The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia: Govt. identify over than 1,000 vulnerable individuals & victims of human trafficking & exploitation in 2020; most victims are underage

"Human trafficking report details sex, labour crimes", 4 December 2020

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation has identified more than 1,000 vulnerable individuals and victims of human trafficking and exploitation ... Among them were 90 women, 408 boys and 597 girls.

According to the ministry’s anti-human trafficking report …, there have been six cases of sex trafficking involving 27 victims, 249 victims of sexual abuse or exploitation, 210 victims of labour exploitation and eight cases of labour trafficking. An additional 601 people were vulnerable by association.

Ministry spokesman Touch Channy said … that since the beginning of the year, a total of 371 victims had been brought to rehabilitation centres of partner organisations across the country. Of those, 103 people had been integrated back into the community.

The report’s analysis indicated that incidence of physical sexual abuse has decreased but online abuse had become more prevalent.

Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) executive director Samleang Seila said … that according to the report, most perpetrators of child sexual abuse and exploitation either encountered children directly in vulnerable communities or indirectly online. The most vulnerable are street children and those living in impoverished communities where abusers offer material enticements to the children or their families.

“This behaviour [of using enticements] has led both children and sometimes family members to develop trust in the assailants, creating access for them to children and opportunities to commit sexual offences,” Seila said.

He noted, however, that successful efforts by law enforcement agencies and the judicial system to catch and prosecute offenders have resulted in a reduction of new child sexual abuse cases…