Around 60 policemen from around the country took part in a training workshop on Thursday to help them combat illegal human trafficking.
The two-day training came as Cambodia approved a measure to tighten controls on Cambodian migrant laborers.
Cambodia is facing dual problems of human trafficking and an increase in the number of laborers who legally seek work abroad, some of whom have reported serious abuses as a result.
Thursday’s training included a closer look at the laws already on the books to prevent trafficking, as well as further methods to prevent it.
“Fighting human trafficking has many challenges and many activities,” said Chu Bun Eng, secretary of state for the Ministry of Interior, who spoke at the opening of the session. Not all of those activities are easily recognizable, she said. “But we clearly see there is activity in bringing persons from one place to another.”
The government has also issued a new subdecree to help control the flow of migrant laborers through recruitment agencies.
Such agencies have vastly increased over the last year, seeking to bring in young women for domestic labor in Malaysia, where demand is high. However, the agencies are poorly regulated, and media reports have surfaced of young women facing poor conditions at recruitment centers and suffering physical and sexual abuse at the hands of employers in Malaysia.
The new regulation gives the Ministry of Labor more control over such practices, with the aid of the ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs.
Both the training and the new measure were welcomed by rights workers as a step toward improving enforcement of labor and anti-trafficking practices.
“We are still worried about the human trafficking situation,” said Sawada Chan Krisna, who heads a protection unit for women and children at the rights group Adhoc. The group received 28 separate complaints of human trafficking so far this year.
Ya Nuth, president of the Caram Cambodia, a protection group, said they had received 20 different complaints of human trafficking in the first seven months of 2011.
“The training of these enforcement officers is a good thing to push the implementation of law in reducing the human trafficking and it effects,” he said.