Phnom Penh Administration Orders to Crack Down on All Types of Gambling in All Districts

Phnom Penh Capital Administration Orders All District Authorities in Phnom Penh to Crack Down and Not Allow All Kinds of Gambling In the local area. This is according to a notification message posted on the Facebook page of the Phnom Penh Capital Administration.

The move comes after Prime Minister Hun Manet issued a voicemail order to all provincial governors. Monitor and take action to crack down on more lucky gambling games across the country.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Keut Chhe told VOA on Thursday that at an emergency meeting of the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration yesterday Recently, local authorities in the capital will follow the order of the Prime Minister without allowing the opening of new locations. No other lucky adventure game.

He said: “But what applies to the words of the President yesterday is not allowed the Phnom Penh administration to move to a new location. No, so in the past, the person who received the so-called visa from the competent institution, he asked to be located at the lower level institution. Nation, now Samdech Thipadei, he advised not to have new, how much is enough.

He added that in the past, the implementation or crackdown on gambling was based on information from local areas and the expertise of Investigation by law enforcement forces.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police spokesman Sam Vicheka told VOA that after receiving the content of the control meeting Check and crack down on gambling in Phnom Penh, the Capital Police Force will take action and implement the above regulations .

“I do not know much about gambling, because we have never had a job,” he said. Skills from this work, but in the past we have learned that there are online games related to fishing games. Thus, we will research and continue to implement any game that commits illegal crimes.

Through a more than two-minute voicemail shared on social media on Wednesday, Hun Manet ordered a moratorium. All licenses to run gambling activities in the local area, as well as recommend to the Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia Under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, including all stakeholders, review and reorganize management policies and measures Various lucky adventure games across the country.

Mr. Hun Manet said: “I ask His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, Governor, Board of Governors to take immediate action to inspect the gambling venue. Smoke at the local level within its jurisdiction. In case there are any new openings, please take immediate action to close and report directly to me to take action. It can lead to the revocation of licenses in the province or across the country.

However, Mr. Manet did not specify whether to close the existing gambling venue. He also did not specify whether the lucky draw had a lottery. Lotto is seen to be booming in public places, especially sports venues in Cambodia.

Hun Manet’s order to prevent the spread of further gambling comes after the announcement An online gambling business called DIG88 has been heavily criticized by a well-known comedian named Neay. The teacher who participated in promoting the game through the recording of music videos and gestures. Neay Kroeun later announced his withdrawal from the ad after a series of public reactions, especially to network users.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance has stated that the Cambodian government has not licensed online gambling companies to do business or do business in No, Cambodia, since mid-2019, when the government announced the closure of online games called That popular online game.

Ministry of Health calls on people to be careful about foot-and-mouth disease, 12 cases found

Ministry of Health detects Mpox transmission to man in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district and calls for People take care of their own health. This is the 12th case of MVP in Cambodia.

Epilepsy, originally defined as chickenpox, can be transmitted from person to person through Sex, direct contact with the wound, droplets from the airways, saliva and other consumables There is the chickenpox virus, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health.

In a statement issued on February 15, 2024, the ministry said that the disease was diagnosed on The above man on February 13, 2024 after receiving the results from the National Institute of Public Health and was He was hospitalized.

Recently, there has been an increase in the incidence of epilepsy in Cambodia, which requires people Care should be taken to prevent the spread of the disease in clusters or eventually on a large scale.

Symptoms of mumps include hives, blisters on the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and mouth. Or body aches, fever, fatigue, headache, back pain or muscle aches.

Measures to prevent the spread of the H5N1 virus or herpes virus include using a condom every time you have sex. Avoid direct contact with people with epilepsy, clothing or drops that come out of the airways. Practice hand hygiene. Regularly report any suspected cases and isolate individuals with the disease.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, the disease can be life-threatening because, according to the World Health Organization. As of January 2023, there were 176 deaths from the disease in the world, out of a total of more than 90,000 people.

Photo: CDC

Fake Kidnapping Video Lands Two Taiwanese Streamers in Cambodian Jail

Two Taiwanese streamers, Chen Neng-chuan and Lu Tsu-hsien, have been sentenced to two years in prison by a Cambodian court for staging a fake kidnapping video in Sihanoukville, a coastal city notorious for harboring online scam operations. The pair, who go by the online handles “Goodnight Chicken” and “Anow”, posted the video on Facebook earlier this week, claiming they had broken into a “scam park” and were chased and beaten by security guards. They later posted another video showing them escaping from a hotel room, with fake blood and injuries.

The video went viral in Taiwan, but also raised suspicions among netizens and authorities, who found inconsistencies and discrepancies in their story. The Taiwanese embassy in Cambodia said they received no requests for assistance from the streamers or their families, and no police report was filed. Cambodian authorities tracked down the streamers to a hotel room, where they found evidence of their staged kidnapping, including military uniforms, rubber masks, red paint and a torn T-shirt.

Source: Cambodia Police

The streamers were arrested and charged with incitement and causing social disorder, as well as interfering with public functions. They were tried on Thursday at the Preah Sihanouk provincial court, where they admitted to fabricating the video to attract more followers and views. The court sentenced them to two years in jail and ordered them to pay a fine of $2,000 each. The court also said their actions had damaged the reputation of Cambodia, especially the coastal province, which has been trying to crack down on online scam activities.

The streamers are known for their controversial live streams, in which they visit haunted houses and abandoned buildings in Taiwan, where they claim to see ghosts and dead creatures. They have a significant following on social media platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook. Their fake kidnapping video has sparked outrage and criticism from netizens, who accused them of being irresponsible and disrespectful to the Cambodian people and culture.

Photo Source: General Commissariat of National Police

Economists: Major reform needed to achieve the Cambodia’s vision for 2030

As Cambodia’s economic growth slows, it could jeopardize Cambodia’s vision to become High-middle-income countries by 2030, improving the business environment, improving infrastructure Alliance and building a capable workforce are the way forward. This is according to the World Bank’s economics expert.

According to the article by experts entitled: “Cambodia 2030: economic slowdown as an opportunity to accelerate version Forms »Further refinement of the business environment is critical to boosting the company’s productivity and competitiveness In Cambodia, by easing the complex and strict requirements for doing business, especially the issuance of licenses and permits For doing business.

The article adds that improving Cambodia’s infrastructure and logistics is an important foundation for Increasing productivity and international competitiveness and that Cambodia needs to increase learning outcomes to respond And the lack of skills to create a workforce capable of preparing for the future and boosting the country’s productivity.

“Labor productivity growth has slowed sharply over the last five years, and companies have reported Be aware of the growing lack of skills. Not many Cambodian children are enrolled in early childhood education. Which means missing out on opportunities for early childhood development and barriers to return The mother went to work to earn money. According to the article above.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet has said in the past that Cambodia remains ambitious in becoming an income country. High average in 2030 and high income in 2050.

Responding to a VOA question, Ministry of Economy spokesman Meas Sok Sen San said the government always considers all of its proposals. Partners.

“We work with all partners and will review them to put them in place,” he said. With all the characters involved.

Ministry of Labor spokesman Kata On told VOA that according to the assessment of Cambodian economic experts in 2024 will It rose to 6.6 percent and that investment also increased. He added that in order to comply with the labor market, the government has opened vocational training for young people in response to Problems are facing.

“We see that about 30,000 young people have registered and the first phase of the training is open,” he said. There are 700 classes. So, from day to day, our young people continue to register and we continue to open classes. Therefore, from now on, our young people will have clear skills in life and have high skills to enter “Serve in the factory sector, which is a necessary need of the nation from now on.”

According to the above analysis, World Bank economists claim that higher economic growth is a desire that Achievable. It just requires Cambodia to shift to a more sustainable economic growth model based on high productivity. Be bold in restructuring, increase quality investment in infrastructure and human resources, and implement development policies that Be weather savvy.

It should be recalled that since the formation of the new government, which is composed mostly of young people, many new political programs Is set out under the Pentagon strategy, which aims to transform Cambodia into a middle-income country. High by 2030 and towards achieving the vision of high-income Cambodia by 2050.

With the introduction of new policies of the seventh term government, World Bank economists also provide Comment on that Cambodia needs to be open to accepting investment to support its economic growth in the context of The world is facing crises. And the country must continue to strengthen education from early childhood to high school to increase productivity. And its competitiveness going forward.

The World Bank also forecasts that Cambodia’s economic growth will reach 5.8 percent by 2024 and 6.1 percent. Hundreds in 2025 with expectations of increased infrastructure investment and the benefits that will come from Cambodia has trade agreements with countries in the region. (VOA News)

Cambodia Under Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Outbreak

WHO announces that the Ministry of Health of Cambodia notified WHO of two confirmed cases of human infection with influenza A(H5N1) from the same village in Kampot Province. Both cases were female, one in the 20-25 years age group and the other less than five years old. The first reported case visited a public hospital four days after having symptoms of fever, shortness of breath and cough. Samples were collected, which tested positive for H5N1, and the case died while in hospital. The second reported case was detected during enhanced surveillance by the public health authorities in response to the confirmation of the first reported case. The case had fever, cough and rash and is currently being treated in hospital. Epidemiological investigation shows both cases had exposure to backyard birds, which were reported to be sick, with some having died, over the prior month. The Ministry of Health’s national and sub-national rapid response teams are investigating the source of the infection and coordinating response activities, including but not limited to active surveillance for additional cases, identifying close contacts for monitoring, and conducting health education campaigns to prevent transmission in the community. In total, six cases of influenza A(H5N1) have been reported from Cambodia this year. Influenza A(H5N1) infection in humans can cause severe disease, has a high mortality rate, and is notifiable under the International Health Regulations (2005).

Description of the Situation

The Ministry of Health of Cambodia notified WHO of two confirmed human cases of influenza A (H5N1) between 24 and 25 November 2023. The cases resided in the same village in Kampot Province. Both cases were females, one in the age group of 20-25 years and the other less than 5 years old.

The first reported case developed fever, cough and shortness of breath on 19 November 2023, was treated at home for several days, and then visited a hospital on 23 November. At the hospital, samples were collected and transported to the National Institute of Public Health for testing and was subsequently confirmed as influenza A(H5N1) by RT-qPCR assays at the National Laboratory at National Institute of Public Health and reconfirmed by Institute Pasteur du Cambodge. The case was admitted and in intensive care at the hospital and passed away on 26 November 2023. The second reported case was detected during active surveillance in response to the first reported case, for additional cases with clinical presentation including fever, cough and rash. The case was transported to hospital on 25 November 2023 for testing with samples returning positive for influenza A(H5N1) by RT-qPCR assays at the National Laboratory at National Institute of Public Health and reconfirmed by at the Institute Pasteur du Cambodge. The case is currently admitted in an isolation room in the respiratory ward of the hospital and undergoing treatment. Epidemiological investigation shows both cases had exposure to backyard birds which were reported to be sick and dead, over the past month. No epidemiological linkage of these cases has yet been confirmed other than that they both resided in the same village.

Laboratory investigation shows the viruses, as indicated by phylogenetic analysis, fall within the H5 clade with close similarity to the viruses that have been circulating in Cambodia and Southeast Asia since 2013-2014. The sequences cluster most closely with the viruses from the two human cases reported in October 2023.


Animal influenza viruses normally circulate in animals but can also infect humans. Infections in humans have primarily been acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments. Depending on the original host, influenza A viruses can be classified as avian influenza, swine influenza, or other types of animal influenza viruses.

Avian, swine, and other animal influenza virus infections in humans may cause disease ranging from mild upper respiratory tract infection to more severe diseases and can be fatal. Conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms, encephalitis and encephalopathy have also been reported. There have also been several detections of A(H5N1) virus in asymptomatic persons but who had exposure to infected birds in the days before a sample was collected.

Laboratory tests are required to diagnose human infection with influenza. WHO periodically updates technical guidance protocols for the detection of zoonotic influenza using molecular methods, e.g. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Evidence suggests that some antiviral drugs, notably neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir), can reduce the duration of viral replication and improve prospects of survival in some cases.

The confirmed cases are the fifth and sixth cases of human infection with influenza A(H5N1) reported from Cambodia in 2023, and the fourth reported death in 2023. From 2003 until now, 62 cases of human infection with influenza A(H5N1), including 41 deaths, have been reported from Cambodia.

Public Health Response

The Ministry of Health’s national and sub-national rapid response teams, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Environment, have initiated and coordinated the detailed investigation of the avian influenza outbreak in Kampot Province including searching for additional suspected cases and contacts, collecting and testing samples from backyard birds and conducting health education campaigns to prevent transmission in the community.

WHO Risk Assessment

From 2003 to 27 November 2023, a total of 882 human cases of infection with influenza A(H5N1), including 461 deaths, have been reported globally from 23 countries. Almost all cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) have been linked to close contact with infected live or dead birds, or influenza A(H5N1)-contaminated environments. Based on evidence so far, the virus does not infect humans easily and spread from person-to-person appears to be unusual. Human infection can cause severe disease and has a high mortality rate. Since the virus continues to circulate in poultry, particularly in rural areas in Cambodia, the potential for further sporadic human cases can be expected.

In these two cases, while human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, it is likely there were separate exposures to the viruses from sick and dead chickens.

In the past, small clusters of A(H5) virus infections were reported, including those involving health care workers, but without evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission. Available epidemiological and virological evidence suggests that A(H5N1) viruses have not acquired the ability to sustain transmission among humans. Therefore, the likelihood of sustained human-to-human spread is low. Based on available information so far, WHO assesses the risk to the general population posed by this virus to be low. The risk assessment will be reviewed as needed if additional information becomes available. 

Close analysis of the epidemiological situation, further characterization of the most recent influenza A(H5N1) viruses in both human and poultry populations, and serological investigations are critical to assess associated risks to public health and promptly adjust risk management measures.

There are no specific vaccines for influenza A(H5N1) in humans. However, candidate vaccines to prevent influenza A(H5) infection in humans have been developed for pandemic preparedness in some countries. 

US Focuses on Cyberscams During Envoy’s Cambodia Visit 

Cindy Dyer, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for monitoring and combating trafficking, is planning to push Cambodia’s new government to ramp up its efforts to crack down on cyberscam operations that trap many trafficking victims in slavelike conditions.

A recently completed visit to Phnom Penh by Dyer “will serve as an opportunity for information sharing and coordination on anti-trafficking efforts,” the State Department said last week in a release.

Dyer met with a range of officials “with the objective of building a relationship with the new government for future coordination and advocating for progress in the most critical areas, including increased investigations and prosecutions of cyberscam operations,” said the November 15 release.

Cambodia’s role as host of cybercriminals has been in an international spotlight. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) released a report this summer estimating that the industry has victimized 100,000 people in Cambodia.

Lured by promise of jobs

Operators of these scamming networks recruit unwitting workers from across Asia, often with the promise of well-paying tech jobs, and then force them to attempt to scam victims online while living in slavelike conditions, according to the report.

Countries including Indonesia, Taiwan and China have urged countries like Cambodia and Laos to crack down on the industry, while warning their own citizens of the dangers in traveling to these countries, according to the UNHCHR report.

The U.S. State Department’s annual report on global human trafficking, released in June, placed Cambodia in Tier 3, meaning the government has made insufficient efforts to address human trafficking and does not meet the minimum standards.

During her two-day visit to Cambodia that began November 15, Dyer met with officials from the ministries of justice, labor and social affairs, as well as representatives of the National Police and the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) within the Ministry of Interior, according to an email from the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. Dyer also held discussions with civil society groups working on combating human trafficking.

The discussions focused “on Cambodia’s efforts to protect trafficking victims, including providing protection assistance services for victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants, capacity building for service providers and government officials to improve victim identification and referral, and addressing emerging trends in forced criminality,” the State Department release said.

More training urged

Am Sam Ath, operations director at the Cambodian rights group Licadho, told VOA Khmer that Dyer’s visit highlighted the need for Cambodia to tackle human trafficking and online scams.

“We see that the United States … ranks Cambodia third in the blacklist of human trafficking. It also has a lot of impact on our country, and if Cambodia does not make an effort further in the prevention of human trafficking or online scams, the ranking cannot be improved,” he said by telephone from the group’s Phnom Penh office.

He called on the Cambodian government to strengthen the capacity of officials and authorities to crack down on online crime.

“This crime problem is technologically modern, so the authorities involved in it have to get more training to keep up with the situation, as well as the timing of the crime,” Am Sam Ath added.

National Police spokesperson Chhay Kim Khoeun and Justice Ministry spokesperson Chin Malin declined to comment on Dyer’s visit, referring questions to Chou Bun Eng, permanent deputy chairman of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking. VOA Khmer called Chou Bun Eng, but she did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Embassy spokesperson Katherine Diop told VOA Khmer that Dyer’s visit to Cambodia was part of a U.S. effort across the world to encourage governments to take responsibility for preventing human trafficking and protecting victims.

“The United States stands with the Cambodian people to identify, support and seek justice for human trafficking victims,” she wrote in an email.

The UNHCHR report released in late August said the online scams were occurring in five countries in Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines.

“People who have been trafficked into online forced criminality face threats to their right to life, liberty and security of the person,” said the U.N. report. “They are subject to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary detention, sexual violence, forced labor and other forms of labor exploitation as well as a range of other human rights violations and abuses.”

Cambodia first acknowledged the issue last year when Interior Minister Sar Kheng said in August that officials were being deployed across the country to check hotels, casinos and other establishments for potential trafficking victims.

The government has since announced sporadic operations to free victims and arrest traffickers. However, experts recently told VOA Khmer that these efforts have not noticeably curbed the illegal operations or caught ringleaders of the trafficking networks.

Source: VOA News, Sim Chansamnang
Photo Credit: Prachatai, flickr

Cambodia Inaugurates New Chinese-funded Airport Serving Tourism in Angkor Wat

Cambodia inaugurated its newest and biggest airport on November 16th 2023, the Chinese-financed project meant to serve as an upgraded gateway to the country’s major tourist attraction, the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple complex in the northwestern province of Siem Reap.

The Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is located on 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of land about 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Angkor Wat and boasts a 3,600-meter- (11,810-foot) long runway. It can handle 7 million passengers a year, with plans to augment it to handle 12 million passengers annually from 2040.

The airport began operations Oct. 16, with the first flight to land coming from neighboring Thailand. The old airport it replaces was about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the famous tourist site.

The inauguration was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Manet, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian, the governor of China’s Yunnan province, Wang Yubo, and other officials.

Tourism is one of the main pillars supporting Cambodia’s economy. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia received some 3.5 million international tourists in the first eight months of 2023, while for the whole of 2019 — the last year before the coronavirus pandemic — it received some 6.6 million foreign visitors.

China is Cambodia’s most important ally and benefactor, with strong influence in its economy, shown by numerous Chinese-funded projects, hotels and casinos in the capital, Phnom Penh, and elsewhere around the country. China’s state banks have financed airports, roads and other infrastructure built with Chinese loans. More than 40% of Cambodia’s $10 billion in foreign debt is owed to China.

The new airport, built at a cost of about $1.1 billion, was financed by Angkor International Airport (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., an affiliate of China’s Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd, under a 55-year build-operate-transfer deal.

The project is part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the ambitious program that involves Chinese companies building transportation, energy and other infrastructure overseas funded by Chinese development bank loans. Its goal is to grow trade and the economy by improving China’s connections with the rest of the world in a 21st-century version of the Silk Road trading routes from China to the Middle East and onto Europe.

Another Chinese-funded airport is being constructed at a cost of $1.5 billion to serve the capital. The new Phnom Penh international airport, formally known as the Techo International Airport, is set on 2,600 hectares (6,425 acres) and scheduled for completion in 2024. (RFA)

UN Spotlights Scale of Cambodia’s Cyber Trafficking Industry

The United Nations has cast a harsh spotlight on the cyber trafficking industry that has blossomed in Southeast Asia in recent years, estimating that the trade has ensnared some 100,000 victims in Cambodia alone.

In a sweeping new report on online scam operations in the region, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights seeks to frame the online trafficking networks as an urgent international human rights threat that demands the attention of both national governments and global advocacy groups.

It argues that because persons trafficked into the operations effectively carry out the crimes — using the internet and social media as tools to help orchestrate various scams to take money from unwitting victims in other countries — they are often treated as complicit in their new and home countries. Yet the report urges officials to treat them as victims too.

“People who have been trafficked into online forced criminality face threats to their right to life, liberty and security of the person,” the U.N. report says. “They are subject to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary detention, sexual violence, forced labour and other forms of labour exploitation as well as a range of other human rights violations and abuses.”

Prime Minister Hun Manet’s government has quickly gone on the defensive against the report, playing down the scale of the problem. Both the report and experts on the issue say Cambodia has yet to show the necessary resolve to root out and shut down the trafficking networks.

One reason for that, according to the report, is that officials and other powerbrokers in Cambodia may be sharing in the significant profits. It estimates that scam centers operating in Southeast Asia generate billions of US dollars in revenue.

“Corruption undermines accountability and threatens the rule of law; it often precedes the human rights violation, exacerbates its effects, and is a barrier to access to justice and remedy,” says the report, which also focused on trafficking in Myanmar and Laos and functioning scam centers in those countries.

“Reports indicate that there has been a lack of investigation into claims of collusion between the criminal actors behind these scam operations and senior government officials, politicians, local law enforcement and influential businesspersons.”

Al Jazeera, which conducted a groundbreaking investigation on Cambodia’s “cyber slaves” in 2022, found that some of the wealthy businessmen who own the compounds where scam rings operate had close relationships with former Prime Minister Hun Sen, who handed power to his son after July’s election.

The report describes how the COVID-19 pandemic fueled the growth of the industry in Southeast Asia. Many young professionals across the region were desperate for work — becoming prime targets for online recruiters promising fake jobs — while people across the world were bored and spending hours connected to the internet on their phones, computers or other devices.

The pandemic also forced casinos across Asia to close, sending Chinese investors looking for new, and often illicit, business opportunities online and in places with limited regulation and legal risk, like Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, the report explains.

“Faced with new operational realities, criminal gangs increasingly targeted migrant workers, who were stranded in these countries and were out of work due to border and business closures, to work in the scam centers,” it says.

Cambodia’s Interior Ministry announced an aggressive campaign to confront the cyber scams in August 2022.

Chou Bun Eng, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior and vice chair of the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking, told VOA Khmer in September that authorities had since responded to more than a thousand requests for intervention and rescued more than 1,500 people.

She dismissed the report’s claim that “credible estimates” have “indicated at least 100,000 people forcibly involved in online scams” in Cambodia.

“We already know that Cambodia is not big, and for businesses and locations in the provinces, there are not many,” she said in an interview. “We ask, where are those people?”

Chou Bun Eng added that the government was convening experts to come up with a more accurate estimate and would send a report back to the United Nations.

The issue of cyber trafficking was raised during a meeting between new Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Hun Manet in Phnom Penh last week. An X post from Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the leaders discussed a range of security issues, including joint efforts to “crack down online scams.”

Jason Tower, the Burma country director for the United States Institute of Peace, which monitors cyber trafficking across the region, said he was somewhat skeptical that 100,000 people had been trafficked into forced labor in Cambodia’s scam networks. But he said that figure may capture the total number of people involved in the industry in some capacity over a period of years.

Still, he said the Cambodian government’s “pretty strong pushback” to the report was “unfortunate,” both for advocates and for other countries in Asia who want greater protections for their citizens in Cambodia, and more commitment to freeing those trapped by traffickers.

“My understanding is there’s still a lot of victims and that law enforcement in neighboring countries is still putting pressure on the Cambodian authorities about very specific victims that they’re trying to recover and that there’s a lot of foot dragging and that things just are not happening anywhere near quickly enough,” Tower told VOA Khmer.

“So you know, the problems certainly have not gone away, and I think that a lot more could be done to send out a very strong message that simply there’s no tolerance for this in the country, and I don’t think we’re anywhere near there yet.”

The U.N. report says that as of July 2023, online scam centers were reportedly operating in at least eight Cambodian provinces: Phnom Penh, Kandal, Pursat, Koh Kong, Bavet, Preah Sihanouk, Oddar Meanchey and Svay Rieng.

It also specifically named two special economic zones believed to be hosting cyber scam facilities, the Dara Sakor SEZ and Henge Thmorda SEZ. Dara Sakor’s primary developer is the Chinese-owned Union Development Group. Henge Thmorda appears to refer to the MDS Thmor Da SEZ, which has previously been linked to human trafficking and is owned by Cambodian tycoon Try Pheap.

Jacob Sims, the regional director for the International Justice Mission in the Asia Pacific, said the organization has seen “commendable” improvements from the Cambodian government in its response to cyber trafficking.

Among the signs of progress is opening a hotline to help victims seek help, and making greater efforts to identify victims, he said. And large cyber slavery compounds in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh have been shut down, to some extent.

“However, there is also significant evidence that many of these compounds simply relocated to new areas within Cambodia,” Jacob Sims said.

“At a high level, accountability for compound owners and crime bosses is key. One compound may close, but another will likely open in its place as long as the risk to operating and facilitating this criminal industry remains low.”

Sims said he thought the 100,000 figure “seems imminently plausible,” given public reports, witness testimonies, the size of the broader online gambling industry.

Tower noted there’s also a growing financial pressure on Cambodia to address the problem. China has ramped up its efforts to warn citizens about the risks of being trafficking in Southeast Asia, leading to travel advisories and even a blockbuster movie about Chinese nationals lured into a scam compound through the promise of high-paying jobs.

“So part of the strategy is to just terrify Chinese people, you know, such that nobody wants to go to Southeast Asia,” Sims said.

This has posed a significant threat to Cambodia’s tourism industry, which is focused largely on Chinese visitors and has yet to fully recover from the global pandemic.

Western countries are also paying more attention to the problem, with countries like the U.S. losing billions annually to online scams — as well as having nationals recruited into the cybercrime syndicates, said Tower.

Both Sims and Tower were hopeful that the U.N. report would bring greater attention and resources to combating the trafficking rings.

“I think that adding the human rights lens will probably get a lot more Western actors to look at these issues,” Tower said. “And it will add, I think, another layer to the response.”

Source: VOA Khmer

Cambodia exports 10 tons plus of seafood and agricultural products to China under RCEP agreement

Following the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), Cambodia exports seafood and fishery products Others to China, a total of about 10 tons. This is according to officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The RCEP is a comprehensive regional economic partnership agreement that includes the 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. And New Zealand. The agreement entered into force on January 1, 2022. The RCEP member countries will have a gross domestic product of $ 26.2 trillion, or 30% of global GDP

In the opening speech, study and dissemination of post-harvest fisheries enterprises under CAPFish Capture on September 17, 2023 Undersecretary of State and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Ms. Im Rachana, told reporters that Cambodia exports seafood and fishery products. Other products include shrimp, prawns, trout and eels to China, and the government is preparing to streamline food export procedures. Similar to the European Union.

“It’s great to push our fishery products market to the European market, as you know,” the spokesman said. We have stated in the past that we have worked very closely with UNIDO through fisheries products. Well, it’s a job that takes time and the challenges are still there but we are solving the problem That’s all. ”

The Fisheries Administration and UNIDO are implementing a post-harvest fisheries development project worth more than $ 16 million. As part of the CAPFish Capture project, an EU-funded fisheries administration program, the largest fisheries development program. In Asia, with $ 120 million.

CAPFish Capture stakeholders say RCEP could pave way for Cambodian agricultural exports Chinese market under the technical and material support of CAPFish Capture, which has been implemented for four years. Some CAPFish Capture artisans say they have already exported their products to France and the United States. Australia and Canada in small numbers and some say they want to export their agricultural products to China as well. Where people like to eat freshwater fish.

Pum Sotha, director general of the Fisheries Administration, said that the recent export of agricultural products to China started from an agreement. RCEP, an initiative of the Beijing government. He added that Cambodia has also signed other agreements with the Chinese customs to be able to import agricultural products. In the Chinese market.

“We have to sign a protocol with all the Chinese side. In general, the products we can export to China,” he said. That we agree with the GACC [General Administration of Customs, China] means that all Chinese customs all products All.

Mr. Khov Kuong, Deputy Director of Fisheries Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, who implements the CAPFish Capture project, said that RCEP has contributed to the Cambodia produces agricultural products, but he said the standards and food safety must be adhered to.

“We can export to China if there is trade facilitation without import tariffs, import tariffs, but Standards must remain the same, must be chemical-free, harmless, must have a standard that does not affect health “

He added that the RCEP agreement would also further boost the export of agricultural products by handicraft owners and fishery processing enterprises in CAPFish Project.

“I mean, when we created this project, it was not aimed at the RCEP, but Contribution is, of course, because within the framework of all economic cooperation, the growth of “Economic activity in exports and imports.”

Ky Sereywat, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told VOA that Cambodia’s agricultural exports to China are The beginning of the RCEP agreement process and the growth of Cambodia’s agricultural market, despite the number of exports at the moment Recently, it is still small.

He hopes the government will further boost exports through the RCEP agreement.

“We see that our agriculture is still limited,” he said. So when we have a market, we encourage producers to produce more and more production helps our farmers More in the production and breeding of all these animals. In this case, the Ministry of Agriculture must also work urgently to support production, support to the market.

The purpose of the RCEP is to lower tariffs, open trade in services and promote investment to help To developing countries to keep up with other countries in the world.

Source: VOA Khmer
Featured Photo: Hul Reaksmey / VOA

Government to encourage people in the informal economy to enter the informal economy to improve livelihoods

VOA, PHNOM PENH – In the formulation of a new strategy of the government on the development of the informal economy for 2023 to 2028, those who are doing business in The informal economy will be rolled into an economic system with the support of the relevant authorities.

The new strategy will contribute to improving people’s lives and achieving sustainable development. Resistant to various crises. This is according to the results of the plenary session of the Council of Ministers on September 20 .

Government spokesman Pen Bona told VOA that the National Strategy for Informal Economic Development 2023-2028 is a supportive one. To the people who are engaged in the informal economy to grow like those who are engaged in the informal economy.

He said: “The government of the seventh mandate is to prepare a national strategy on informal economic development for 2023 to 2028. Why did he prepare it, because the Royal Government intends to support all those who engage in informal business so that he Get the same benefits as you in the system.

He added: “So recently, when there was an announcement from some authorities for them to register, he was worried. Worried, he was worried that he would have to pay taxes, pay this and that. Therefore, Samdech Thipadei, you have suspended the registration of anything, wait for the preparation of this national strategic policy and then leave. “Once.”

Those who rely on the informal economy refer to small business owners or market and street vendors; and Tricycle riders and so on.

According to a press release from the Plenary Session of the Council of Ministers, which was released to the public on Wednesday, the strategy National Informal Economic Development will respond to some challenges and realities and pay close attention On the well-being of the people and supporting the informal economy after the Kovid 19 crisis.

President of the Independent Association of Informal Economy, Mr. Vorn Pov, applauded the new government’s attention to the business community. Informal economy as a new context to further push them into the systemic economy With the monitoring of professional officials and local authorities.

He added that the National Strategy for Informal Economic Development 2023-2028 of the Royal Government has been achieved in response. An important one for people in the informal economy as they are facing a number of problems, including the recession Declining incomes and the pressure of rising commodity prices in the aftermath of the 19 Kovid outbreak.

“His needs for informal economists are social services, both economic, social and cultural rights and social justice,” he said. For theirs too. This is necessary to get his economy back to normal, as it was before the covid state.

The launch of a five-year informal economic development strategy also aims to strengthen your productivity and resilience. Make a living in the informal economy and accelerate economic participation in the system to ensure the progress of business, trade, investment and cooperation. Business, occupation and livelihood in Cambodia.

This national strategy prioritizes five key points, including:

  • Configuring, editing and setting up mechanisms to facilitate access to the system
  • Reducing the burden on compliance
  • Providing support and support to those who have entered the system
  • Capacity building and support for those who enter the system
  • Strengthening and expanding outreach and promoting awareness and participation.

The Royal Government considers the introduction of this new national strategy as a pioneer in the development of the informal economy to Increase cooperation between ministries, institutions, the private sector, national and international organizations, and establish relations with various associations.