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Child beggars repatriated from Vietnam

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:

Consular officials in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh city have repatriated 15 Cambodian children and six adults who they said entered the country illegally to work as beggars or lottery ticket vendors. 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday the 21 included children as young as one.   
Ministry spokesman Chum Sonry said 19 of the group were from Svay Rieng province, one from Kampot and one from Phnom Penh. 
Vietnamese authorities had detained 12 of the migrants at a social protection centre in Ho Chi Minh city and nine at a similar centre in Tien Giang province.
They were repatriated through Bavet International Border Checkpoint in Svay Rieng.
Net Sareoun, a chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking department, said the children had travelled to Vietnam with their parents and had not been trafficked. 
“They crossed to Vietnam to work as beggars and sell lottery tickets by themselves. We interviewed them and they said they went there because they had no jobs in their home towns,” he said. 
The authorities told the group not to cross illegally into Vietnam and advised them about finding work in Cambodia instead. “It is risky for them to go over there because they will face arrest. Now they have gone home,” he said.

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