Sopheap Suong

Sopheap was the provincial Coordinator for the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center (CWCC) in 2008 when he participated in the DTP Training Program on Human Rights, Migrant Workers and Advocacy in Manila, the Philippines. He had been running a safe migration and reduction of human rights trafficking project- through the delivery of information to potential and current migrants, and organising training for local duty bearers. The project has grown ever bigger since its beginning in 2006. After the DTP Program he became the Regional Manager for CWCC in the Northwest Region of Cambodia. He is also the CWCC focal person for the Mekong Migration Network, a position he has held since 2006, and is involved with research and joint advocacy efforts.

In addition to this, he has cooperated and coordinated with NGO partners in destination countries - especially Thailand - to help rescue migrant workers regardless of whether they were documented or undocumented, and to provide services to migrant workers who fall victims of trafficking.

Sopheap tells DTP that he has been applying the knowledge gained on human rights and the international human rights instruments and matters related to migrant workers gained from the training in his work. Knowledge of human rights had a big impact on his work in analysing the human rights situation and on how to address the human rights violations of migrant workers. This knowledge on migration workers and their human rights has given him the fundamental basis on how to work with migrant workers and how to address issues of migrant workers' human rights.

Career-wise, the 2008 DTP Training made it possible for Sopheap to use the knowledge gained to write an essay for the entrance exam for an application for the International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP) in Canada in 2011. He was selected and participated in this one-month program on human rights in Quebec, Canada, organized by Equitas and sponsored by CIDA.

Sopheap has also put to good use his DTP experience in Manila by conducting several teaching programs on human rights, gender equality and advocacy for colleagues both for those under his supervision and for CWCC staff from other parts of Cambodia. He is also engaged in advocacy at sub-national, national and regional levels and by engaging with networks and alliances.

After participating in the DTP training, my perspective on migrant worker issues has really changed. These matters are really complicated and it is something we need to really look at in-depth in order to get to know about their lives, their happiness and their pains. After attending the program, I have continued working with migrant workers, trying to learn about their lives, their situations and their human rights. Due to this, I have been nominated as the focal person in CWCC when dealing with migration and human trafficking issues. In 2011, I received a Golden Medal Award from the government based on sub-decree signed by the Cambodian Prime Minister acknowledging my great effort in promoting safe migration and combat trafficking in persons.