Category Archives: Arrest, Detention and Deportation

81 Cambodian migrants arrested in Sa Kaeo

SA KAEO — A police-military unit in Aranyaprathet district have rounded up 81 illegal Cambodian migrant workers who claim they were looking for jobs after their hometowns were hit by drought.
The Cambodians were apprehended while hiding in a forest near a temple in Khlong Tan Chan sub-district on Wednesday morning. The group comprised 36 men, 28 women and 17 children. None of them had travel documents, Daily News quoted Lt Col Somjate Ponprasert of the 12th Rangers Regiment, who is head of the arresting team.
Jiam Suam, leader of the migrants, told officers he and others in the group were from Cambodia’s Siem Reap province. Their hometown was hit hard by drought, making it impossible for them to farm. They then decided to walk across the Thai–Cambodian border through Khao Doi Tao in Khlong Hat district on Tuesday night, and went on to the adjacent town of Aranyaprathet on foot.
Mr Jiam Suam claimed he and his compatriots wanted to find jobs from Aranyaprathet residents and send money back to their families.
By: Bangkok Post
Published on: 11 May 2016

Trafficking victims rescued from Thai vessel

More than 50 trafficking victims are set to return to Cambodia after their Thai fishing boat was intercepted when it illegally crossed into Indonesian waters last month.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Chum Sounry yesterday said 54 Cambodian nationals were arrested on April 12 and detained in Pontianak, Indonesia. “The Indonesian authorities considered those workers victims of human trafficking and not perpetrators,” Sounry said.

One of the victims, Seak Leng, from Prey Veng province, said in an interview that he migrated to Thailand on January 4 in search of work, but was cheated by a broker and sold to an illegal Thai fishing boat. Leng described slave-like conditions, saying he was forced to work day and night, given insufficient food and not paid a cent.

The victims managed to hide a cellphone and last week made contact with Yi Vong, a relative to five of the imprisoned victims. Vong then reached out to human rights groups and Cambodian authorities for help.

Leng said embassy officials were now assisting with passports and plane tickets to bring the victims home.

“In two or three weeks more, we might be able to return to Cambodia,” Leng said from prison. “I want to give advice to all Cambodian people; please not to cross the border illegally as I did, because when they arrested us, we found it difficult to return home.”

Sem Chausok, a human rights observer at Licadho, said 500 victims had been rescued from similar trafficking schemes in the past three years, adding that lack of work in Cambodia pushed people to migrate, making them vulnerable to exploitation.

By: The Phnom Penh Post

Published on: 2 May 2016

South Korea deports 30,000 Thais a year

South Korea last year deported nearly 30,000 Thais, many of whom were trying to enter the country illegally to find work, the Labour Ministry says.

The disclosure was made by the Employment Department following media reports that 13 Thais pretending to be football fans on their way to a tournament in South Korea were deported upon arrival in Seoul. The group had prior charges of illegal entry.

It was also reported that 40 Thais on the same trip disappeared soon after clearing immigration. They were thought to have been picked up by job brokers who illegally secured them jobs, according to Newin Chidchob, chairman of Buriram United which played in the football tournament on Wednesday and arranged the tour for the fans.

Employment Department chief Arak Prommanee said the Labour Ministry was informed of the incident.

The ministry was concerned by the number of people deported from South Korea. Last year, 29,740 Thais faced deportation by South Korean immigration authorities. Many of them were denied entry as it was suspected they were trying to find work there illegally.

Mr Arak said Thais can only obtain work in South Korea through a government-to-government agreement.

Job seekers must have the required qualifications and pass screenings by Korean employers.

They are also tested on their Korean language skills.

There are more than 26,000 Thai workers working legally in South Korea. Most are employed in building projects and farms.

Since the beginning of the year, about 600 Thais have been sent to work there, with the labour export target to South Korea set at 7,300, Mr Arak said.

He said language remains a major obstacle for job seekers.

By: Bangkok Post

Published on: 24 April 2016

Cambodian migrants returnees statistics 2015 (through Poipet – Klongleuk International border).

Number of Cambodian migrants returnees through government-to-government repatriation 2015 (Poipet – Klongleuk International border).










       4,325        2,661        1,358           178           128                  104


       4,175        2,457        1,350           220           148                  102


       4,835        3,111        1,437           180           107                  108


       6,538        3,995        2,084           275           184                  168


       3,664        1,936        1,161           355           212                    93


       3,360        1,827        1,090           313           130                    87


       5,259        2,813        1,825           389           232                  114


       7,267        3,861        2,594           551           261                  153


       6,610        3,643        2,229           523           215                  140


       4,417        2,427        1,424           395           171                    96


       4,168        2,294        1,308           351           215                    87


       4,703        2,704        1,436           289           274                  106
     59,321      33,729      19,296        4,019        2,277              1,358
 PDF [80 KB]

Source: Poipet Transit Center (PTC), 31 December 2015, PTC Director

Poipet Transit Center (PTC) is a reception center of Ministry of Social Affairs which has been establishing since 2003 following a 2003 bilateral agreement between Cambodia and Thailand to combat human trafficking. This is the only official Transit Center for Cambodian migrant returnees through government-to-government repatriation.

In addition, the Transit Center is also deploying their mobile team staff in-charge at reception center to host Cambodian migrant returnees through deportation as well. The role of PTC’s mobile team staff at reception center is to conduct quick screening to identify victims of trafficking and labor exploitation as well as children in special needs among deportees in order to refer to NGO partners, especially CWCC, for services provision.

Currently, PTC is partly supported by CWCC. CWCC supports PTC to cover all expenses of food and hygienic materials to migrant returnees and their family members during their stay at PTC. CWCC is also supporting salary for one PTC staff who is in-charge at reception center to host Cambodian deportees from Thailand.

Every year, PTC refers at least 30 victims of trafficking, labor exploitation and child migrants in special needs to CWCC for services including medical care, shelter, legal aid, psycho-social support, and reintegration (including livelihood) and follow up visit.

More Than 50,000 Migrants Deported by Thailand in 2015, The Cambodia Daily

More than 50,000 Cambodian migrants were deported from Thailand through the Poipet International Border Checkpoint, the main point of return for migrants, since the beginning of this year, according to a Banteay Meanchey provincial police official.

Lay Kimluon, the provincial anti-human trafficking police chief, said that 55,626 Cambodians have been sent back through the checkpoint by Thai authorities this year, citing a report that was completed on Friday but has yet to be made public.

The police official said that many of the migrants initially crossed into Thailand from other provinces along the border, but were routinely deported through Poipet, home to the main crossing along the shared border.

He said the workers were illegally entering Thailand despite the many risks.

“Our migrant workers who illegally cross to work in Thailand risk their lives because they face gunfire by Thai authorities, being arrested and put in prison, and cheating and exploitation by their ring leaders who send them to a third country to work as a slave,” he said.

Mr. Kimluon said he did not know how this year’s figure compared to previous years. However, Soum Chankea, the provincial monitor for local rights group Licadho, said that such deportations were down significantly from last year, when the Thai junta began implementing new measures to rid the country of illegal migrant workers.

Mr. Chankea said that people would continue to cross the border—legally or illegally—until the government addressed the main issue motivating their migration, a lack of income or job opportunities at home.

“The problem with workers being deported from Thailand is because the Cambodian government doesn’t care about people crossing the border or the farmers near the border,” he said. “If the government focuses on helping the farmers, no one will risk their life to illegally work in Thailand.”

By Saing Soenthrith
Published on 07 December 2015

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