Damnok Toek Poipet

Damnok Toek Poipet
One of the projects supported with PeopleShare’s donations to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking: 

Project Title 
Reception Centre Poipet: Direct assistance for children victims of trafficking and children at high risk of being trafficked. 

Location of Project 
Palalelai village, Chankiry point, Poipet commune, O’Chrov district, Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia.

Project Objective
Provide immediate assistance to deported/repatriated and at-risk community children to meet their physiological and social needs until safe reintegration with the biological family or referral.

Description of Grant Recipient 
Damnok Toek Poipet is a Cambodian NGO that has been operating a reception centre in Poipet for trafficked and abused children since 2001. Its work primarily focuses on supporting abused and trafficked children in its reception centre to prevent their re-trafficking and to provide vital support to those children who cannot be re-integrated with their family. Damnok Toek is part of a larger network of NGOs, both local and international, who work on issues related to children and trafficking. Damnok Toek has also established close partnerships with government officials, including the police. 
Reception Centre Poipet: Direct assistance for children victims of trafficking and children at high risk of being trafficked
educational, psychosocial, medical care, material assistance
Description of Project 
Human trafficking to Thailand is widespread specifically in Poipet. The main victims of trafficking are marginalised children, who often become street-beggars in Bangkok or end-up in the sex trade. Thai authorities arrest and deport/repatriate illegal Cambodians through Poipet, where the children are oftentimes abandoned, and left without social or economical support to sustain themselves. 

Damnok Toek Poipet has utilized the grant received from the Trust Fund to operate its Reception Centre in Poipet. The Reception Centre focuses on providing vital services including psychosocial, educational, medical and material
assistance to children victims of trafficking deported or repatriated from Bangkok, and children at high risk of being trafficked. The Reception Centre also facilitates the reintegration of trafficked children back into their families, where possible, through family tracing, family assessment and follow-up. 

Key achievements 
Damnok Toek has carried out the following activities: 

  1. Beneficiaries at the Reception centre in Poipet have been provided with various services, including 
  2. provision of nutritious food, safe accommodation and clothing; 
  3. Medical services, including testing for STD’s and treatment for medical illness was offered to 
  4. beneficiaries. Individual and group counselling was provided to children, to enable them to communicate their worries and requirements. As forms of therapy, Non-Formal Education (NFE) activities such as drawing, handicraft, traditional dancing were organized; 
  5. Social workers assisted in the tracing and reintegration of children victims of trafficking. In total, family tracing was conducted for 10 cases, and family assessment for 43 cases. 8 children have successfully been reintegrated with their families. In collaboration with social workers, public authorities and other NGOs, Damnok Toek has identified several children at risk of being trafficked; 
  6. To reduce the number of children falling prey to human traffickers, the NGO conducted awareness raising activities such as workshops, provided material through the mobile library and offered a drop-in facility to inform the local community on human trafficking and child rights. 

Key challenges 
The NGO experienced difficulty with planning in advance for the number of children who would be referred by the Thai authorities, to the Poipet Reception centre. To enhance the efficiency and impact of the project, and accommodate the larger number of victims requiring assistance, the NGO is collaborating with NGO Friends International Thailand. This partnership will also help to improve the repatriation and referral process.
Damnok Toek reported that the Reception Centre has become an integral short to mid-term recovery process for former victims of trafficking. However, there are several factors which compound the challenge of reintegrating victims especially young children. First, most of them do not remember their families or villages, and second due families’ poor economic and social background most trafficked children are always at risk of being re-trafficked. 
You can find more information about the NGO at www.damnoktoek.org

photos © Damnok Toek/Jenny Hooligan 


People Share Foundation