PHNOM PENH (CAMBODIA) – According to Cambodian officials, school students will henceforth learn about human trafficking and the laws about it. This will happen once the syllabus is updated next year.
Cambodia faces US sanctions if it does not amend its record on human trafficking next year. The government is mulling adding lessons on human trafficking for primary and high school students, according to a spokesman for the education ministry.
“Hopefully, students learn about the ways to stop human trafficking in school and among youths,” Ros Soveacha said.
The new lessons will also include sex trafficking apart from drug offences and other crimes.
According to the Global Slavery Index by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation, more than 260,000 Cambodians out of the nation’s 16 million are trapped in modern slavery and a good number of them are children.
Reports say that thousands more are trafficked internationally, including women who are forced into marriages in China.
There are more than one million Cambodians working illegally in Thailand, including thousands trapped by debt bondage in the fishing, farming and manufacturing categories.
The revised syllabus will enable students to understand the different forms of human trafficking, the roles of educational institutions in prevention, and the laws and rights, said the deputy head of the Cambodian government’s counter-trafficking agency.
“Education is part of prevention,” said Chou Bun Eng.
“If people still hesitate … to protect vulnerable people, then there is no way to stop the damage.”