Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Cambodia discussed commitment to cooperate in eradicating human trafficking at the 26th ASEAN Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (DGICM) forum. The 26th annual meeting of immigration director general and consular affairs for Southeast Asia took place on August 8-11 in Phuket, Thailand.

Indonesia, represented by Director General of Immigration from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Silmy Karim, met with Head of the Cambodian Immigration Delegation, General Chantarith Kirth, at the meeting.

"During the meeting, I conveyed that there were many Indonesians becoming victims of online gambling, online fraud, and even kidney trading," Karim said in a statement received here, Friday.

Karim remarked that based on an explanation from the Cambodian delegation, the country used to legalize online gambling activities. However, the license for gambling operations and online gambling has been revoked and declared illegal since June 2019.

"In 2022, the local authority carried out an operation in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, which was suspected to be a gambling center. More than 200 people were arrested, and most of them came from Indonesia," Karim stated.

After the operation, Indonesians, who were indicated as victims, were protected by the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh, he noted.

"Those who were indicated as victims were temporarily placed in social services, while those who were not victims were placed in the Cambodian Immigration detention room," he noted.

Karim revealed that the issue of kidney trade was new information received by the Cambodian government. Meanwhile, for the Indonesian government, his office has appealed to immigration officers to take preventive and protective measures to fight human trafficking.

According to Karim, immigration plays an important role in passport issuance and immigration checks at the Immigration Checkpoint (TPI).

In passport applications, immigration officers must conduct in-depth identification or profiling for applicants, who are indicated to be providing incorrect information. For those indicated applicants, their passport applications can be suspended for up to two years, he said.

To serve as a deterrent effect, the Directorate General of Immigration will take steps, so that the postponement of passport applications can be extended for up to three years, he stated.

Karim said that immigration inspection at TPI is also a second filter in preventing human trafficking. He noted that delays in departure could be made if indications were found in a person to be a migrant worker.

"Regarding human trafficking, which has claimed many victims, we agree that Indonesia will initiate a cooperation agreement with Cambodia as a follow-up. We hope that it will be completed in the near future," he said.

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Translator: Fath Putra M, Resinta S
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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