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The Significance of Cambodia's Crackdown on Human Trafficking

MIN READSep 27, 2022 | 21:47 GMT

A man sits inside a casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Feb. 18, 2020.

A man sits inside a casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Feb. 18, 2020.

(TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP via Getty Images)

Cambodia's ongoing crackdown on human trafficking is meant to boost its ailing tourism sector and preempt political turbulence while offering a precedent for closer Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cooperation on issues of shared interest. On Sept. 17, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered a widespread crackdown on the ''anarchic'' scourge of illegal gambling and human trafficking. Interior Minister Sar Kheng is coordinating a nationwide effort to bust related organized crime networks. Cambodia's prime minister threatened to remove government officials of every rank -- from governor to police officer -- who fail to take action against illegal gambling and human trafficking. Since the Cambodian government launched its crackdown on Sept. 17, authorities have detained thousands of individuals involved in human trafficking schemes, and have also raided more than 1,000 locations across the country, with more ongoing -- mainly in Cambodia's gambling epicenter of Sihanoukville, as well as the capital...

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