Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​ at the 12th China-ASEAN Prosecutor- General Conference under the theme “Role of Prosecutor in Combating Human Trafficking in the Region”


Samdech, Excellencies,
Excellencies, General Prosecutors, State Prosecutor of ASEAN association countries and People Republic of China,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National-International Guest

Today, I am delighted to participate the opening of “China-ASEAN Prosecutor- General Conference under the topic of “Role of Prosecutor in combating human trafficking in the region” that is celebrated in this moment.

I would like to express my warm welcome and appreciation to Excellencies, General Prosecutors, State Prosecutor of other ASEAN association and People Republic of China, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished national and international guests, who are present in the land of Siem Reap, the wonder city of Khmer Empire in Angkor period.

Today, Cambodia is truly honored to be the host to prepare this important conference in the meantime with other ASEAN member countries as well as other countries in the region, that are fighting together on human trafficking, a dangerous cross-border crime, which is now growing in our region.

In fact, the development of science and information technology in this modern era have made the movement of global economic with a rapid evolution. Meanwhile, the development of labor market in the world as well as in other ASEAN countries have enhanced ASEAN member countries and countries in the region to have growth of economic, trade and investment in significant level and creation of many market access. With the movement of labor market and the mobility of international labor have made the “Human Trafficking” in the other ASEAN member countries including other countries in the region. With this, the exploitation with all images from status of local job search and immigrants have taken advantage of opportunities of “Human Trafficking”, labor exploitation, human trafficking, infants and children trafficking, and human organs trafficking, which is the serious crime and it’s necessarily required for ASEAN member countries and China to pay high attention and together prevent on a timely manner with effectiveness and transparency in both regionally and globally.

Practically, “Human Trafficking” in Cambodia currently as well as in the past few years was taken action by the government to prevent, block, combat and punish on a timely manner by strengthening laws, implementing prevention policy and protecting victims with the strict implementation of criminal law. Consecutively, with the good cooperation between National Committee for Counter Trafficking with ministries, relevant institutions, prosecution body and court, Cambodia received successful outcome to combat cross border crimes in the past.

Meanwhile, Cambodia has been implementing and preparing laws, policy, normative letters related to prevention, blocking, combating and punishment “Human Trafficking” including criminal procedure 2007, law on combatting human trafficking and sex trafficking 2008, criminal code 2010, draft law on the surrogacy, draft law and normative letters as well as other MOU with other friend countries both regionally and internationally that are related to human trafficking especially on women and children, rescue, immigration, integration of victims from “Trafficking”.

Therefore, the prevention, blocking and punishment is the important policy that the Royal Government has paid high attention and Implemented in the past with all form of dissemination of “Human Trafficking” from national level to foundation level. In fact, the royal government has celebrated “Human Trafficking” Day in 2018 with 3000 participants that are key top management in legislature institutions, executive branch, courts, ambassadors in Cambodia as well as local authority, armed forces, religion representation, employees, workers, employers, professors, teachers, students and citizen.

With this, the Royal Government has formed a close cooperation with various national and international organizations and televisions to establish video clips and reports to demonstrate to all citizens on the understanding of human trafficking with the​ establishment of a regular outreach mechanism throughout the country.

The combating of “Human Trafficking” is a global issue that is difficult and complicated. It is an illegal transnational crime covering in both ASEAN region and the globe. Therefore, in order to tackle this global issue in a timely manner, member states of ASEAN-China must have an agreed set of principles and close cooperation with transparency and efficiency. In this spirit, I would like to share several recommendations as follows:

First, General Prosecutors of ASEAN-China shall jointly form a close cooperation with countries and institutions related to Human Trafficking, particularly in the transit and destinated countries in order to promptly respond and tackle with transparency and efficiency.

Second, General Prosecutors of ASEAN-China shall jointly monitor and evaluate Human Trafficking issue through the spirit of high responsibility with efficiency and quality with relevant countries and institutions as stated in the agreements or the Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) that had been signed previously.

Third, General Prosecutors of ASEAN-China and relevant institutions shall work together to continue and enhance the cooperation to be comprehensive​, facilitative and to contribute to providing resources for systematic implementation in order to instantaneously respond to Human Trafficking with high efficiency.

Fourth, General Prosecutors of ASEAN-China shall jointly generate records and reports with real evidence to demonstrate a joint cooperation with relevant institutions in combating Human Trafficking which is a crime that causes danger to society and is currently affecting the socio-economic development process in the region and the globe.

[Start of Comments]

ASEAN Member Countries’ Legal Connectivity

Please allow me to elaborate on this point. As Madame Chea Leang, the prosecutor-general seconded to the Supreme Court has mentioned, though ASEAN is a community, each and every state members have their own separate laws. What we can do is to work out cooperation agreement together. We cannot make steps to have one law for the whole ASEAN community. It is not a simple matter but we can still work together through cooperation agreement with ASEAN and partnering countries. Today, we have established (such partnership cooperation) with the People’s Republic of China.

Law in each country is not the same. For instance, laws on or about (crimes relating to) human trafficking. Such crimes may meet punishment of this level in one country and another level in another country. On drug issue, Cambodia does not allow capital punishment but in other countries, they do. It is in this understanding, we must seek way to reach agreements to implement laws (in different countries) in a long transitional period to achieve legal connectivity from one country to another. I think that is achievable through regular meeting between general prosecutors, Supreme Courts, and relevant institutions in the ASEAN countries.

ASEAN Hosting 2024 World Cup Football Event

There is now one common point. In 2024, ASEAN will host the World Cup football event. It will be a representation identity of ASEAN as it has just signed agreement in Bangkok with FIFA a few days ago. When the time comes, countries in ASEAN will become one common place where the world will meet for football event. ASEAN can think of having one football team […] where players can be selected from member countries […] the important thing is to launch an ASEAN identity. I have said on other occasions that one common point that ASEAN can do before anything else is to have its ASEAN football team.

More Jobs Access, More Human Trafficking/Exploitation

Starting from there, we will be working towards other issues including flow of law/human force that we adopted last year in Manila […] as of now, people have access to more jobs while there are still issue of human trafficking/exploitation […] for instance, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar have many workers going to Thailand – some legally and some have been cheated. There are roughly 50,000 Cambodian workers in (South) Korea, as far as I know. I met Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam the other day, he told me that Vietnam has up to 200,000 workers in South Korea. In the case of Cambodia, there are people who have been cheated in the process of sending them to work there […]

RGC in Prosecutors’ Appointments Process

These are issues that we must employ the role of prosecutors to protect the vulnerable people. Before we started this session, I have briefed (you) about the Royal Government’s management of policies on criminal issues […] the Royal Government has had to have a share in the appointment and management of the prosecutors or it risks losing control on criminal policy […] it is true that the court procedure is to be independent. However, should the Royal Government fail to control policy on crimes, there would be danger. For example, the prosecutors failed to place charges on (crimes). The prosecutors is to accuse (persons suspected of crimes) on the state’s behalf. Claiming themselves independent and placing no charges … or failing to bring cases to Court of Appeal when the first level court’s decisions do not reflect seriousness of the crimes, how could the state control policies relating to crimes? That is the key point in the reform of court system […]

Justice Police Acts According to the Prosecutor’s Order

There needs to be arrest or detention warrants from the prosecutors so that the justice police will act accordingly unless they are flagrante delicto cases that they would act without waiting for such order. Having said that (we could understand that) in 1,000 say cases, there would be 999 cases that the justice police would act according to the prosecutors’ arrest or detention warrants. In that proceeding, if the prosecutors do not issue orders/warrants, how could we go about controlling and managing the country’s security? In light of this, we have chosen a system that allows constant cooperation between the courts system and the executive power […] these above are what I wanted to make points to you all.”

[End of Elaboration]

I hope the conference will continue to utilize the General Prosecutors mechanism which is a forum strengthening the cooperation with a unified willingness to combat Human Trafficking and transnational crimes of all pictures in order to ensure security and safety in transiting to all citizens within the countries of ASEAN-China and in the region.

In conclusion, with the opening of the 12th China-ASEAN Prosecutor-General Conference under the topic of “The Role of Prosecutor in Combating Human Trafficking in the Region”, I would like to wish the conference the fruitful outcome and wish Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International guests the healthiness, great and unforgettable memories during your stay in this famous Angkor territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia./.


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