Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng yesterday ordered officials to find ways to tackle migrant worker trafficking into Thailand, citing an average daily deportation rate of 100 Cambodians from the country every day.
Speaking at the opening of the National Consultation on Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Phnom Penh, Mr Kheng said too many workers cross into the country illegally and are then deported.
“I suggest that the National Committee for Counter Trafficking examine this problem,” he said. “In one day, the Thais deport 100 illegal Cambodian workers. Add that up per month, per year, and this is a very high number. We must solve this problem.”
“The government has ordered border provinces to crackdown on illegal border crossings, but the workers are still getting across,” he added. “We must find out how.”
He added that government is considering creating passport offices in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces to help legalise workers.
Chou Bun Eng, vice chair of the NCCT, said he must discover why workers cross into Thailand illegally.
“Our workers are facing arrest because they cross without documents,” he said. “We will research the reason and ask them why they were deported, when they crossed and how, and educate them on how to do it legally.”
According the Ministry of Interior, 91,412 Cambodian migrant workers were deported or fled from Thailand in the first half of 2017, a 65 percent increase from the same period last year.