The USAID Cambodia Counter Trafficking-in-Persons program aims to increase access to and quality of victim services and promote victim-centred, trauma-informed case management through cooperation with two specialised and experienced partner service providers; the Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CCPCR) and the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC).
CCPCR has extensive experience implementing protection activities with victims of trafficking and abuse, working on recovery, rehabilitation, reintegration and advocacy. CCPCR will identify and address the needs of survivors by providing multiple services to improve their quality of life and protect them from re-trafficking and exploitation. 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 for any reason be accepted by CCPCR shelters and centers but still require services, 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. In cases where legal aid is required, CCPCR will refer cases to CTIP legal aid partners, and will work closely with these organizations to monitor cases and provide supporting documents.
CCPCR’s holistic approach to victim reintegration and services includes vocational skills training provided by a network of partner organizations. Extensive consultations are conducted with the victim to ensure they are undertaking training that suits their skills, and that their vocation of choice is market-driven in order to be successful. 30 grants 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, which in turn prevents re-exploitation of family members. Before providing the grants, CCPCR project staff will conduct a two-day training workshop on financial literacy with the victims and their families to increase their capacity in financial management skills, and will conduct a follow up assessment to ensure that they have the ability to manage their sustainable small business. CCPCR will work closely with grantees to ensure grants are being used appropriately and that the business is sustainable and profitable according to market demand. 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. A three-day livelihood development course will also be available to victims’ families based on an initial family assessment, including follow up support. 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 and satisfactory performance, with school materials and fees provided for by CCPCR.
ADHOC is an organisation working on issues related to basic rights and freedoms by providing Cambodians with knowledge and understanding on human rights, law and democracy and how to defend these freedoms. In partnership with CTIP, ADHOC will provide legal aid investigation and monitoring on trafficking cases as well as providing intervention in new cases. The organization’s human rights monitors stationed target provinces will investigate cases by gathering information, evidence and witnesses 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. These activities lay the groundwork for the rescue of victims as well as for court cases, which involve complex administrative processes that victims ordinarily struggle to carry out, especially as many are illiterate. In instances of very complex and/or serious cases, staff from the ADHOC central office in Phnom Penh will travel to the respective provinces to support provincial staff members and assist with case work. 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. Provincial workshops will also be organized where victims can share their stories and government and NGO representatives can educate attendees on trafficking and break down stigma against victims. Networking activities will be conducted at national, regional and international levels to build mechanisms for case management, information sharing and coordination of strategic plans. These networks are crucial for building more effective victim rescue and repatriation and engaging diverse stakeholders in fighting trafficking at all levels.