EU, UN reschedule launch of anti-human trafficking project in Cambodia after questions about venue

The European Union and United Nations abruptly rescheduled the launch of an anti-human trafficking program this week after being confronted with questions on the choice of venue: a Phnom Penh hotel owned by a Cambodian tycoon who has another property that has been used by human traffickers.

The launch of the EU-U.N. “PROTECT” project, which aims to help prevent violence against women and children, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, had been set to take place May 3 in Cambodia in the Phnom Penh Hotel. The facility is owned by L.Y.P. Group, a conglomerate entirely run by the family of tycoon Ly Yong Phat, a Cambodian senator with close ties to Prime Minister Hun Manet.

Though Ly Yong Phat himself has not faced any human trafficking charges, a casino run by his business has been raided at least twice, and both times authorities rescued people who had been forced to work there in call-center scams and other illicit activities.

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