Tuesday, June 25, 2013

U.S. report on Cambodia's human trafficking "untrue, ludicrous:" Foreign Ministry

PHNOM PENH, (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed U.S. report on the situation of human trafficking in Cambodia released last week as "untrue and ludicrous" in a statement issued Monday.

"Undoubtedly, in the report, there is plenty of untrue information on the situation of human trafficking in Cambodia," the ministry's spokesman said in the statement. "Many of the issues raised in the report are either made from general sweeping assumptions or lacking real evidence to prove. Therefore, many of those issues in the report were ludicrous."

The reaction was made after the U.S. State Department, in its 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report released last Thursday, downgraded Cambodia a notch to the Tier 2 Watch List--the scale's second-lowest rank--from Tier 2 for failing to demonstrate evidence of overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking in 2012.

Launched in Washington by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the annual report described Cambodia as a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

The report made very little recognition of the hard work and the sincere efforts of the Government of Cambodia in its fight against human trafficking, the statement said.

"Just in 2012 alone, real progress has been made. A total of 133 suspects related to human trafficking were arrested and 458 victims were rescued," it said. "At the meantime, about 300 suspects were convicted by the courts."

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