Remarks by Jean-Marc Gorelick, Acting Director, Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID Cambodia, Collaborative Workshop

Monday, July 24, 2017
Remarks by Jean-Marc Gorelick, Acting Director, Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID Cambodia, Collaborative Workshop

(as prepared for delivery)


  • Your Excellency Chou Bun Eng, Secretary of State of Ministry of Interior and Permanent Vice Chairperson of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking
  • Your Excellency Mithouna Phouthorng, Governor of Koh Kong province
  • Members of the Koh Kong Provincial Committee for Counter Trafficking
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.


I am pleased to join you today for this important workshop. This event represents a unique opportunity to discuss our successes as well as the challenges in the fight against human trafficking. I would like to extend my gratitude to Her Excellency Chou Bun Eng from the National Committee for Counter Trafficking and Her Excellency Mithouna Phouthorng, Governor of Koh Kong province, for making this important event take place in Koh Kong province. Koh Kong province is a key human trafficking source as well as a transit point for unsafe migration and labor trafficking. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Winrock International and the International Justice Mission for their hard work on this effort. Together we can be proud of the work that we do in the areas of prevention, protection, and prosecution of this pressing transnational crime. 

Human trafficking is a global human rights challenge. It preys upon the vulnerable, breaks down the rule of law, and corrupts global commerce. No challenge may be greater than the transnational crime of human trafficking that impacts millions of people worldwide each year - including people from Cambodia.

The United States government cares deeply about countering trafficking in persons because it affects not just individuals and their families, but also communities and entire countries, regardless of where they are or what their level of economic development. Experience shows us that strong global coordination among government, civil society, and the private sector is critical to stop human trafficking. The Royal Government of Cambodia shares our concern and the National Committee for Counter Trafficking has provided the leadership and coordination needed to make real progress against human trafficking.  

The U.S. government - through USAID and other agencies - is among the largest donors combating trafficking-in-persons. Between 2001 and 2010, USAID spent $163 million in 68 countries to fight the trafficking of human beings. We support all four strategic pillars of counter-trafficking response: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership. In Cambodia, USAID has supported the fight against human trafficking for more than a decade.  In October 2015, we awarded the four-year Cambodia Countering Trafficking in Persons project to Winrock International. This project aims to address the root causes of trafficking. It helps protect and assist victims who have been trafficked, strengthens local governance structures to address these crimes, and increases the likelihood of prosecution. We are hopeful that a better life at home will prevent them from moving great distances and into dangerous situations to provide for their families.

Today, we address the issue of labor trafficking in Koh Kong by strengthening our collaborations, sharing experiences, and finding different ways to tackle the problems we face. Three weeks ago, our Mission Director joined Her Excellency Chou Bun Eng to congratulate police trainers on completing a training course co-organized by the International Justice Mission and the Police Academy of Cambodia. Those police trainers learned how to get evidence from witnesses, victims, and suspects - skills that will allow them to identify and prosecute human traffickers.

In closing, I would like to recognize, once again, the important progress the Cambodian government and its partners have made to combat human trafficking of all kinds. As many of you may know, this year Cambodia is on Tier 2 on the Department of State Annual Trafficking-in-Persons Report, meaning that the country and its leaders are making significant efforts to be in compliance with minimum standards for combatting trafficking in persons. We are committed to working closely with the government on this critical challenge in the months and years ahead. Our hope is that one day, when Cambodians migrate for better jobs, they can do so safely and legally, and work and live in dignity without fear of being trafficked.

Thank you.  

Koh Kong Province
Issuing Country