Monday, July 6, 2009

Training to Prevent Human Trafficking, Drug Abuse and Traffic Accidents

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The National Culture and Morality Center (NCMC) has provided training for 3,150 people including hotel and guest house owners, street children, child laborers and former drug addicts. Representatives from Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang, Kandal and Takeo provinces will be trained in how to detect cases of human trafficking and drug abuse. They will also be given guidance in how to prevent traffic accidents.

About 150 people including hotel and guest houses owners and representatives of disadvantaged youth attended the training in Phnom Penh. It was conducted by the NCMC, in collaboration with the Phnom Penh Municipal Traffic Police Office, the Anti-Human Trafficking Police Office, and the Anti-Drugs Police Office of the Ministry of the Interior.

Po Samnang, President of NCMC, a local Non-Governmental Organization formed in 1992, said that the training program was supported and funded by the General Police Commissioner and the National Authority for Combating Drugs in the Ministry of Interior.

The training sought to raise awareness of the issues amongst the demographics most likely to be affected said Samnang. He continued, “The main objective is to train the target working groups so that they can join the government and make a practical contribution to combating these problems in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on July 2.

Samnang said that moral standards continued to decline, probably a result of poverty and residual trauma left over from the years of terror. It created a situation in which an unholy trinity of drugs, people smuggling and irresponsible road use threatened to undermine the economy. He continued, “Drugs, human trafficking and road traffic accidents are now a major concern. Without appropriate action, the Cambodian economy, the society and development efforts will be threatened. Therefore, we must work together to combat the problems,” he said.

Samnang pointed out that in 2008, 50 hotel owners, 117 guest house owners and over 2,000 youths received training in the areas detailed above. Samnang went on to say that his organization would continue with such training for as long as necessary. He continued to say that since establishment of the NCMC in 1992, over 200, 0000 people, mostly youths and students had received advice form the organization.

Kao Khon Dara, Deputy General Secretary of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, a wing of the Ministry of the Interior, supported the work of the NCMC. He said their efforts had been of great service to the Ministry of the Interior, not to mention the many thousands of individuals who had benefited from good advice. He also said the government supported these drives with a raft of appropriate laws to tackle human trafficking, drug abuse and poor road sense.

He called on members of the public, concerned ministries, institutions, communities and involved NGOs to join together and continue their work in combating these evils. He suggested the benefits would be seen in future improvements in safety and prosperity for Cambodia. ////

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