“Human trafficking is important for every one of us to know. We all should be keeping attention to the problem as it arises and affect our lives and communities ”, Fr. Chatsirey, the parish priest of Phsar Touch in Phnom Penh addressed at his opening remark during the cross-border awareness raising session on safe migration and human trafficking. A cross-border event being held in a church in Cambodia was jointly organized by the anti-human trafficking and migration desk of Caritas Cambodia and Caritas Vietnam on the morning of Sunday, 26th November 2017.

As of their cross-border planning on trafficking, the session was made to build awareness by providing information focused on the prevention of unsafe migration and human trafficking to vulnerable group, so that they can make informed decision to migrate. The target groups are the youth and parents from the Vietnamese family’s background living in Cambodia.

Approximately, 80 people participated in the session. Happily, they expressed delight and emphasized the importance of the event. One participant said the session was useful for her and she learnt a lot from the session, especially on key points she has never thought about and discussed before. “For me, it is not new topic but it is for the first time, I participate the session at the church”, she added. Many participants stressed that they will share the knowledge from the session to their relatives and friends.

The sessions were led by Sr. Jacinta, from Caritas Vietnam and Ms. Sopheak Tek, Caritas Cambodia with the focus on pre-departure orientation, the prevention measures, and the impact of trafficking and unsafe migration. Besides explaining and giving information, the key message focuses on highlighting the key role of every individual to understand, to engage, to prevent and combat human trafficking.

In overall, it was an informative session with questions and answers. The event was concluded with a ‘thankful note’ to the parish priests, sisters and representative from the parish council and as to all participants for their wonderful support and active participation to make the session possible. To close the session, flyers on trafficking were handed to participants and each of them blew up an orange balloon and presented the sign of “Stop Human Trafficking” and “Stop Violence”.

The awareness raising session is part of planning activities of Caritas’s Greater Mekong Sub- Region Taskforce on Trafficking, with the goal to build awareness on the danger and impact of trafficking and migration, targeting the potential migrants and populations with low level of education including women and children and vulnerable groups. Caritas Vietnam and Caritas Cambodia emphasized its shared commitment to continue building education awareness, believing this will benefit to the reduced of trafficking and increased safe migration.