A Social Affairs Ministry delegation is in Thailand to discuss the possible construction of a transit centre in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet city specialised in facilitating the return of human trafficking victims.
Nhek Vanara, a secretary of state at the ministry, is leading the delegation and is expected to also speak to Thailand about providing legal aid to victims of human trafficking.
Mr Vanara yesterday said the new transit centre would be designated for human trafficking victims before they are reintegrated into society.
“The decision to consider the building of a transit centre for human trafficking victims in Poipet marks a positive start for Cambodia and Thailand to strengthen and manage [human trafficking] cases,” he said. “We have already agreed to do so through an agreement signed on April 22.”
He was referring to a Memorandum of Understanding on strengthening the management of the repatriation and reintegration of human trafficking victims. The MoU was signed on behalf of the government by Mr Vannara in Bangkok.
Mr Vannara at the time said both sides agreed that the MoU will further benefit victims of human trafficking during their repatriation process.
He said the agreement covered guidelines on the repatriation and integration of victims which comply with international standards and also the roles and responsibilities of both countries towards the process, including providing legal aid.
Last year, the National Committee for Anti-Human Trafficking signed an MoU with the Chhean Chhay Foundation Association in Banteay Meanchy province to collaborate on the prevention of human trafficking and assistance for migrant workers in Thailand.
The government also created a working group posted at the Poipet border to seek information from trafficked migrant workers about how they were brought to Thailand.
Sin Nam Yung, deputy director of the migrant worker coordination office in Poipet city and head of the working group, yesterday said when Thailand deports Cambodian workers, they are all sent to a transit centre near the border before they are asked about why they were deported.
Ms Nam Yung said victims of human trafficking among the workers are sent to other transit centres or NGOs.
She said human trafficking victims must have a special transit centre.
“It is very important for Cambodia to have a transit centre to receive workers deported from Thailand via the Poipet border,” Ms Nam Yung said.