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New initiative to fight child sex tourism in Cambodia

The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism and World Vision-Cambodia forge partnership to fight sexual exploitation of children.

Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry and World Vision-Cambodia on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to forge partnership in combating sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

The MoU was signed between Hor Sarun, undersecretary of state at the Tourism Ministry, and Jason Evans, national director of World Vision-Cambodia, under the witness of the Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.

According to Xinhua, under the deal, the ministry and the World Vision will work together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Interpol to address the serious issue of sexual exploitation of children in tourism in a dual prevention and protection approach, according to a joint press release.

It said that the World Vision will work with the government of Cambodia and the tourism sector to become more aware of vulnerabilities of at-risk children and support responsible tourism practices that prioritize child protection.

In addition, it is also working in communities with girls and boys, parents and community leaders to build resilience against abuse.

The press release added that the UNODC, in partnership with Interpol, is working with law enforcement agencies to protect children through strengthening law enforcement responses, identifying and countering child sexual exploitation in tourism.

The project is sponsored by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Initiative for 4 years with the fund of 7.5 million U.S. dollars for four countries in Mekong sub-region including Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.