|08PHNOMPENH445||2008-05-30 10:53:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Phnom Penh|
1. (U) Summary: Cambodia's anti-human trafficking National
Task Force (NTF) on May 30 provided a trafficking-in-persons
training session to 115 Royal Cambodian Armed Forces troops
who are headed to Sudan on a one-year de-mining mission. The
de-miners are currently the only troops that Cambodia sends
on peacekeeping or other similar missions abroad. The troops
exhibited enthusiasm for the training, listening intently to
the NTF-designated trainer, talking about their own
experiences, and asking a number of pointed questions. The
training helps Cambodia meet one of the newest Trafficking
Victims Protection Act (TVPA) minimum standards: to address
trafficking and exploitation associated with multinational
peacekeepers. End Summary.
Cambodia Provides Anti-TIP Training to De-miners
2. (SBU) On May 30, 115 Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF)
de-mining troops at the Cambodia Training Mine/UXO Clearance
Center (TMCC) received anti-trafficking-in-persons training
from a National Task Force-designated trainer. The trainer,
The Asia Foundation Program Officer Lim Siv Hong, provided a
45-minute session. She conveyed to the troops the Royal
Government of Cambodia's strong commitment to combating TIP,
including information about the NTF structure and its role in
fighting trafficking; definitions of various types of TIP,
including trafficking of women and children for sexual
exploitation; and a brief overview of Cambodia's new anti-TIP
law (Ref A).
3. (U) Lim Siv Hong said after the training that she was
impressed by the troops' level of engagement at the session.
During her opening comments, she asked the de-miners why they
should care about trafficking-in-persons. One of the
soldiers responded, "Because when we're on a mission, we want
to know how to respect our laws and people's rights." Later,
the unit commander stated that they have to be careful when
they are in Sudan because the people there are also poor and
may be vulnerable to trafficking there, too. Several times
during the presentation, de-miners chimed in with stories
they had heard or accounts of TIP in their own communities.
They also asked informed questions such as, "Trafficking has
been a problem for a long time in Cambodia, why was the NTF
just established in 2007?" Lim Siv Hong responded that the
government has realized that an interlinked, coordinated
government structure to combat TIP is the most effective way
to tackle the problem. The NTF provided to the troops copies
of the new anti-TIP law and the national anti-TIP public
awareness campaign flier.
(SBU) U.S. Mission Connected the RGC Working Parts
4. (SBU) The Mission -- including ODC, USAID, and State
Department officers -- helped facilitate communication
between the NTF and the TMCC given our contacts with both.
Both sides were eager to ensure the de-miners received the
training, evidenced by the NTF and unit commanders'
willingness to organize the training in a few days' time.
National Task Force Chair and Ministry of Women's Affairs
Secretary of State You Ay designated Lim Siv Hong, who has an
extensive training background, to conduct the TIP session on
behalf of the NTF. TMCC Director Sem Sovanny also pushed
through approval on the RCAF side, communicating with his own
superior after business hours.
5. (SBU) The 115 De-mining Company 3 troops headed to Sudan
next week are the only troops that Cambodia is planning to
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send on peacekeeping or other similar missions abroad this
year. In addition to the RGC's own commitment to combat TIP,
it is also conscious of TVPA minimum standard requirements.
With the new 2008 standard that countries should attempt to
address trafficking and exploitation associated with
multinational peacekeepers, the NTF training is a laudable
activity taking into account their quick response to the new
standard. (Note: Cambodia is just over the numerical floor
of troops deployed for the standard to kick in. End note.)
Cambodia's anti-TIP training of its peacekeepers is also a
timely activity on the world stage vis-a-vis a Save the
Children report that gained wide international media coverage
this week. Based on findings in three countries, the study
found that peacekeepers and aid workers have perpetrated
crimes of abuse and exploitation in war and disaster zones.
We consider Cambodia's training activity today to be part of
the solutions to such heinous crimes.