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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Justice officials in GMS countries meet in Cambodia to strengthen human trafficking co-op

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Criminal justice practitioners from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries gathered here on Wednesday to strengthen international cooperation on human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ang Vong Vathana, Cambodia's minister of justice, said that the meeting was very important to accelerate inter-governmental efforts in collaboration with local and international organizations to fight against human trafficking in persons.

"It is essential to develop realistic and effective cooperation in the criminal justice system to remove impunity for traffickers and to provide justice for victims," he said.

"It was also crucial to urge member states to strengthen cross- border cooperation in law enforcement among the six GMS countries to combat trafficking through criminal justice process," he added.

The minister said that the meeting was held under the framework of the COMMIT (Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking) Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in 2004 by the ministers representing the six member states of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) including China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The 3-day meeting was attended by senior justice officials from the GMS countries including Han Xiaofeng, division chief of the investigation department of China's Supreme People's Prosecutoriate, police captain Soe Tint at the department of transnational crime of Myanmar Police Force, Police Lt. Col. Paisith Sungkgahapong, senior special case inquiry official at the Supervising Anti-Human Trafficking Center of Thai ministry of justice.

Also attending the meeting were Thoummaly Vongphachan, director of Lao's Counseling and Protection Center for Women and Children, Ith Rady, undersecretary of state at Cambodia's ministry of justice, and Truong Thi Huong Mai, deputy head of section at Vietnam's department of prosecution service for felony cases.

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