Counter Stakeholder Meeting Against Human Trafficking

On 5 August 2015 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm United Nations Action for Cooperation against Traf-ficking in Persons (UN-ACT) organized a counter stakeholder meeting with the aim to share information, exchange ideas and raise strategic recommendations for fighting human trafficking. The meeting was attended by members of parliament, government and police officers, higher education officials and local and international organization employees. Mr. Young Pheak, independent consultant to UN-ACT Cambodia, presented the findings on the study of impacts of migration on family and community— the research was conducted among 10 villages in five communes of Battambang province. The re-search found that most migrant workers decided to seek work in Thailand for a few main reasons for instance, they did not have enough land to farm rice, their family was growing at too rapid a pace, microfinance debt, inability to find a job in Cambodia, and a lack of farming materials.

Another finding on the impact of migration on development was presented by, Mr. Hig Vutha from Cambodia Development and Research Institute (CDRI). It was found that adult labor in communities is decreasing, while the labor cost of the community is increasing, and therefore most migrant workers don’t want to return home for fear of unemployment or inability to successfully be self-employed. The meeting then opened the floor for critical discussion, questions and recommendations from all stakeholders. The meeting responded warmly and called for cooperation with all respective stakeholders from government officials to non-government organization officers and UN-agencies in Cambodia.

In conclusion, migration movements in rural Cambodia still greatly affect venerable people. Most migrants are adults, and many leave as a couple; thus greatly impacting families, the community and development efforts at home. However, there are also some positive impacts—some realized that they can obtain a higher income and could send some money home for supporting their farming work or family expenses. The researcher suggested that local authorities monitor and update data on migrants in their communes, as it can help to avoid violations and trafficking. Law enforcement and specific policies on implementation should be enforced to ensure those migrants’ living situation improves rather than encourage them to leave and migrate again.

 

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