March, Phnom Penh – CTIP finalized the signing of four sub-grant agreements with Sovann Phoum, Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CCPCR), the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) and the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) to implement activities to prevent trafficking in persons and provide assistance and support victims. The NGOs received orientations and will commence their activities in March.
Sovann Phoum, CCPCR and CEDAC will undertake prevention activities in collaboration with CTIP, working to compliment each others’ programs and geographical regions. Sovann Phoum will work within Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham provinces to form 16 savings groups comprised of 560 vulnerable individuals to encourage financial responsibility and safe loans, and will also form animal and crop banks attached to these savings groups so that members can take loans of rice, cows, chickens and vegetables in order to start small businesses. Trainings will be provided to these groups on how to use these services. The NGO will also assist 32 model farmers to raise chickens as income generation, who will go on to provide training and coaching to a total of 960 other interested local farmers on how to raise chickens. For all of these income generating activities, Sovann Phoum will identify available markets where the farmers can get the best prices for their products, and will link them with potential buyers.
CEDAC will work in Siem Reap, Kampong Cham and Prey Veng provinces, providing capacity building for 100 farmers to become professional farm business advisors, who will go on to support up to 10 vulnerable households each in farming related skills building. The NGO will also support the development of 20 organic rice producer groups of 200 members, 10 vegetable groups of 70 members, and will link these producer groups to two rice mill cooperatives comprises 200 members each. Similarly to Sovann Phoum, CEDAC will support 100 saving groups with 2,000 members to become self-sustained, and will provide support developing long-term business plans and will introduce computer based accounting and financial systems.
CCPCR will work in Koh Kong and Svay Rieng provinces, training workshops in 14 communes with a total of 240 key community participants to discuss recruitment practices used by human traffickers, the trafficking-in-persons law, safe migration, job opportunities and the roles and responsibilities of commune councils. Awareness raising will also be conducted with vulnerable people twice in each commune, particularly targeting potential migrants, educating participants on prevention of trafficking, child rights and how to migrate safely. CCPCR will also form 22 savings groups of 660 households, establish a rice and cow bank in Svay Rieng and will provide training to 120 at-risk households on developing livelihoods through animal raising, financial literacy, marketing and business planning. In addition, 60 small grants will be provided to enable vulnerable families to start small businesses.
For victim assistance activities, CCPCR will work in Koh Kong and Svay Rieng provinces to provide basic emergency support to returned trafficking victims, abused migrants and other Cambodians deported and/or repatriated from Vietnam and Thailand through collaboration with government and other stakeholders. Services including meals, medical checks, referral for legal assistance, short-term accommodation, vocational training, non formal and formal education, basic psychosocial counselling (gender sensitive) and life skills training will be provided through CCPCR’s Transit Centers and Migration Information Centers. Victims will undergo assessment and identification at these centers, and if individuals need any further services they will be referred to CCPCR shelters and other service providers across the country. If victims cannot be accepted by CCPCR shelters and centers, they will be provided with relevant services in community-based rehabilitation. Reintegration assistance will ensure victims are self sufficient and can safely live in the community, and CCPCR will conduct regular follow up visits to monitor and assess the progress of victims to ensure their needs are being met within their communities. CCPCR’s holistic approach to victim reintegration and services includes vocational skills training provided by a network of partner organizations. 30 grants and business trainings will be provided to victims who have undertaken vocational training so that they and their families can start a small business and achieve financial stability. Victims will also have the option to pursue internships or job placements with vetted NGOs and businesses after vocational training, during which CCPCR social workers will closely monitor the progress and status of the victim. Older victims with low education levels will be provided with non-formal education for three to six months at CCPCR shelters, while younger children (both victims of trafficking and children of migrants working abroad) will be registered at local public schools and arrangements made to ensure regular school attendance, with school materials and fees provided for by CCPCR.
ADHOC will provide legal aid investigation and monitoring on trafficking cases as well as providing intervention in new cases. The organization will investigate cases by gathering evidence before taking the case to the relevant institutions to seek justice for the victim and their family. ADHOC will submit documentation on case intervention to the relevant government ministries and NGOs at provincial and national levels, as well as to Cambodian Embassies in destination countries to request assistance in repatriation and/or rescue of trafficking victims. Direct legal assistance will be provided to victims of trafficking and abused migrants during the prosecution and court hearing process to ensure they are able to access justice and compensation for their losses, including a full time lawyer, payment of legal fees and provision of transportation and accommodation for victims to attend hearings. Ongoing legal assistance will also be provided for victims of labour trafficking and abuses on fishing boats in the case against Giant Ocean, which is currently being tried at the Supreme Court. In cases where victims are awaiting repatriation from overseas destinations, ADHOC will cover air tickets, food, accommodation and post-repatriation living costs. Importantly, ADHOC will engage in collaboration and dialogue with Cambodian embassies and NGOs in destination countries including Thailand, Malaysia and China to expedite future cases of trafficking and work on current cases. ADHOC will also provide social assistance and reintegration support for victims as they resettle into their communities, conducting visits to ensure victims are free from discrimination within their families and communities. ADHOC will also undertake various advocacy activities, including publishing research and case studies to raise awareness and understanding on the issues in Cambodia, conducting provincial workshops to educate attendees on trafficking and break down stigma against victims and networking at national, regional and international levels.