Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bodies of 71 workers repatriated




Bodies of 71 workers repatriated

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chou Bun Eng, the Secretary of State and Permanent Vice-Chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking of Cambodia (NCCT). POST PIX

Bodies of 71 workers repatriated

Ministry of Interior statistics announced on Wednesday showed that Cambodia had repatriated the bodies of 71 migrant workers who died abroad in the first six months of the year.

However, the ministry’s report did not state the reasons why the Cambodian nationals had died.

Chou Bun Eng, the Secretary of State and Permanent Vice-Chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking of Cambodia (NCCT), announced the findings at the third National Interfaith Forum on Combating Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Phnom Penh.

The event was presided over by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and attended by religious leaders, Caritas Cambodia, anti-human trafficking officials and NGOs, as well as officials from the Ministry of Religions and Cults.

Bun Eng said during the same period, a further 21,746 Cambodian migrant workers were also repatriated for various reasons.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs [and International Cooperation] helped facilitate and provide documents for their return to Cambodia. Most of them were [made up of the] 21,658 migrant workers who were sent back from Thailand.

“During the first six months, there were 71 bodies – 12 of whom were women and one child – that were repatriated. This excludes bodies that were cremated or not reported in the foreign country,” she said.

She also highlighted the vulnerability of many Cambodian migrant workers to human trafficking syndicates and exploitation at the hands of their employers abroad.

“Every day, millions of young and old men and women in the region, and millions of people around the world are trafficked and exploited like animals. Those people suffer and lose their rights and freedom, harming their physical and mental health.

“They lose their money and time, contact with their husbands and wives, parents and relatives. They are tortured, undertake heavy and hazardous work causing some to become disabled or even losing their lives,” she said.

She said victims of abuse abroad were often protected by the NCCT, including being repatriated and offered legal services to seek justice and compensation.

An NCCT report also showed that the National, Military and Phnom Penh police, in conjunction with 19 provinces, conducted raids on 78 cases of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the first six months of this year – a 25 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Caritas Cambodia executive director Kim Ratana said human trafficking and modern slavery was a problem in the region and one that Cambodia’s migrant workers were particularly vulnerable to.

“We are united to publicise, promote awareness, prevent and stop modern slavery, as well as be attentive to protecting and taking care of the victims who are our brothers and sisters, and help them to live with hope and dignity,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng