Migration and human trafficking are serious challenges for Cambodia. Increasing numbers of Cambodians look for work in neighbouring countries like Thailand. They are often victims of false promises; Women and children are particularly at risk of falling into the hands of human smugglers or being sexually exploited.
Safe migration routes
The Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre (CWCC), manages the project “Safe Migration and Reduction of Trafficking (SMART)“. The goals of this project are to reduce instances of human trafficking, improve the knowledge of target communities about safe migration routes and to provide information and counselling to the people affected. Community based network are being built to spread the word to potential migrant workers, before they leave their homes, about the dangers they might encounter.
In spite of relatively advanced legislation against human trafficking in Cambodia, enforcement is lacking because the border police and local authorities are not sufficiently well trained. Thus close collaboration with these stakeholders is needed to make them more aware of and sensitive to the problems facing migrants.
The SMART project is being pursued in ten communities on the Thai border in the north-western Cambodian district of Poi Pet, Ochrov and Malai. Roughly 70 illegal migrants are sent back every day from Thailand in this border region. They are often under shock and traumatized. The CWCC offers them a community-based emergency shelter as well as psychological advice.
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