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The Asia Foundation Releases Landmark Human Trafficking Study and Database

San Francisco, May 31, 2006 — Research Assesses a Decade of Data and Case Studies in Cambodia

Trafficking in persons is one of the most urgent human rights problems in Asia, and Cambodia is a known source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Today in the United States, The Asia Foundation, the premier non-profit organization devoted to Asia’s development since 1954, released a comprehensive assessment of research on human trafficking in Cambodia titled, The Review of a Decade of Research on Trafficking in Persons, Cambodia. A companion e-database will follow later this month.

The publication and online database, resulting from a long-standing partnership between The Asia Foundation and the Phnom Penh based, Center for Advanced Study, are the latest tools to share information and build cooperation among groups fighting human trafficking in Cambodia.

The Review of a Decade of Research on Trafficking in Persons, Cambodia, provides a comprehensive assessment of over 70 research studies, highlighting what is and what is not known about human trafficking in Cambodia. The Review analyzes past studies, identifies gaps in information, offers suggestions for future research, and calls upon the counter-trafficking community to work together to create a solid base of knowledge that will inform and strengthen future efforts to counter trafficking in Cambodia.

“In order to continually strengthen efforts to prevent human trafficking, assist victims in their recovery, and bring traffickers to justice, accurate information must be readily available to policymakers and practitioners,” said Carol Yost, Women’s Empowerment Director at The Asia Foundation. “The Review underscores the need for increased coordination and collaboration on sharing of information so that counter trafficking initiatives are guided by on-the-ground realities and experience.”

With input and support by The Asia Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study accumulated The Review‘s data and supporting material. The Foundation then contracted BaseBloc to design a database to feature this body of research and relevant information. The project was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Review‘s online companion database will initially feature 72 studies analyzed in the review, and allow counter-trafficking stakeholders in Cambodia to share their research and findings by adding comments to each report and submitting their own reports directly through a website interface.

The release of The Review–which was unveiled at an event earlier this month in Phnom Penh–and the online database emphasizes the Foundation’s commitment to facilitating sharing of information as a tool to improve counter-trafficking interventions. In Cambodia, The Asia Foundation also maintains the first Asia-wide, multi-lingual web portal, www.TIPinAsia.info, a comprehensive directory of counter-trafficking resources. The Review is available to download, here, in PDF format (1.62MB).

The Asia Foundation’s counter-trafficking programs are designed to combat human trafficking in a number of different ways ranging from direct services for victims, including support of shelters, safe migration education for vulnerable populations, community prevention networks, school-based education programs designed to raise awareness of young people to the dangers of trafficking, training for counseling service providers, and reintegration services and vocational training for victims. The Asia Foundation first opened its office in Cambodia in 1955. In 1989, after a break of more than 15 years, The Foundation resumed program activities with Cambodians. It reestablished its representative office in Phnom Penh in 1993.

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