25 February 2016, Phnom Penh – H.E. William A. Heidt, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, launched USAID’s new four-year Cambodia Countering Trafficking-in-Persons (CTIP) program to combat trafficking in persons at the Annual Reflection Meeting of the National Committee to Counter Trafficking (NCCT), presided over by Samdech Kralahome Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Chair of the committee.
Taking the opportunity provided by the important event, Mr Heidt stated; “I am delighted to announce today the latest chapter in our cooperation, our new four-year Cambodia Counter Trafficking in Persons program funded by USAID.” He added that, “to address human trafficking, CTIP program will work on the root causes, identified in the lack of access to ‘education and economic opportunity’ that lead people to exploitative situations”, explaining that, “this program will provide vocational training and viable employment opportunities to poor Cambodians who are vulnerable to human trafficking.”
Mr Heidt highlighted that the program will support the implementation of Cambodia’s National Plan of Action as well as supporting the provincial anti-trafficking committees in a number of provinces.
Samdech Kralahome Sar Kheng, Chair of the NCCT, highlighted in his final remark that only joint efforts of all stakeholders can tackle human trafficking. He expressed his appreciation for the support provided by USAID and Winrock, as well as by other partners, for their contribution to the development of TIP victim ID guidelines and for contuining working on combating human trafficking.
Heidt concluded by expressing the commitment of the U.S. government to continue to work closely with the Cambodian government to fight against human trafficking: “I am very proud of the committed partnership between the United States and Cambodia over the past 15 years in the fight against human trafficking.” He added that, “Our hope is that one day, when Cambodians seek to migrate to take up new jobs, they can do so safely and legally, and work and live in dignity, and do so without fear of being trafficked.”