A deputy provincial governor for Banteay Meanchey yesterday reported Thailand has so far this year deported 9,979 undocumented migrant workers through Poipet city.
“According to feedback from migrant workers who are deported, they faced a lot of risks while working illegally abroad,” Pok Nady, the deputy provincial governor, said during a National Committee for Counter Trafficking event in Poipet yesterday. “This is why we have officials at the border to counsel them before they are sent back to their home provinces.”
She added the bodies of 104 workers who died in Thailand have also been repatriated.
Chou Bun Eng, a secretary of state of Ministry of Interior and vice chair of the NCCT, said officials are stationed at the border to receive workers deported from Thailand.
She said some of them were found to have suffered disabilities, such as loss of sight or limbs, some had mental problems or were addicted to drugs and others had been jailed for working illegally in Thailand.
“Some of the deported workers had problems such as mental disorders and poor health…when they returned, they found it difficult to find jobs,” Ms Bun Eng noted.
She added that some of the deportees said they were trafficked to work in Thailand and were not paid any wages.
“They were cheated by brokers to work in Thailand but they did not get any wages so they looked for other jobs there, especially in the agriculture sector,” Ms Bun Eng said. “Therefore all local authorities must continue to work together against human trafficking and prevent Cambodians from crossing the border to work abroad illegally.”
Last week, during National Anti-Human Trafficking Day in Phnom Penh, Interior Minister Sar Kheng urged the relevant authorities to continue cracking down on human trafficking cases, including those involving migrant workers.
According to a report by the NCCT, from January to December the committee cracked down on 131 human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases, an increase of 22 cases over the same period last year.
It said that 128 cases were sent to the municipal and provincial courts for further action, 35 more than during the same period last year.