Khmer Times/May Titthara Wednesday, 19 April 2017 1537 views

Thais deport 60 illegal workers

Nearly 60 Cambodian workers were sent home from Thailand yesterday after crossing the border illegally to return to work following Khmer New Year.
 

Poipet City official Sin Namyong said Thai soldiers in black uniforms sent back three trucks of 56 workers, including 21 women, at about 9am.
 

She said, “The Thai authorities told them they must have legal documents to cross the border and brought them back to Cambodia.”
 

She added the number of illegal workers being sent back was likely to rise over the day.  
 

Ms. Namyong said officials work hard to educate people about legal border crossings, but people still opt to use illegal brokers.
 

She said, “When we release them, their broker will just try and take them to Thailand again because the migrants already paid them.
“They told me they paid between 2,000 baht [$58] and 3,000 baht [$87] to be taken to work in Thailand.”

 

She said many Cambodian workers are heading back to Thailand after Khmer New Year.
 

“Workers that have legal documents cross by the official border checkpoint and workers with no legal documents cross by illegal routes,” she said.    
 

Cambodian workers carrying pink cards, passports or valid documents are able to cross the border to Thailand for free until the end of this month, under a Thai waiver scheme for Khmer New Year.
 

Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc blamed corrupt Cambodian officials for letting workers cross the border illegally in the first place.  
 

He said, “Cambodian authorities should be ashamed. Please stop being greedy and think about the risk the migrants face when they work in Thailand without legal documents.”  
 

According to a Labor Ministry report released in February, 1.15 million Cambodian citizens worked abroad in 2016, including one million in Thailand, of which 310,000 had no legal documents.

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