CAMBODIAN officials yesterday welcomed a media report that said Chinese police had freed more than 10,000 abducted women, including some from Cambodia, since April last year.
China’s state-run Global Times newspaper reported yesterday that as part of an ongoing crackdown on human trafficking that began in April 2009, Chinese police have so far freed 10,621 kidnapped women and 5,896 kidnapped children.
Among the women freed were 1,099 foreigners, mostly from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Mongolia, who were sold as brides to Chinese men or forced to work as prostitutes, the paper said.
Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said yesterday that he was unaware of the report, but urged Chinese officials to work with Cambodian officials to ensure the safety of Cambodian women.
“We have not yet been informed about the release of Cambodian women, but we hope that the police in China will communicate with the Cambodian embassy in Beijing, or help vulnerable women to communicate directly to the Cambodian embassy for help,” Koy Kuong said.
Chinese embassy spokesman Qian Hai said he had not received any information about the report.
Human rights workers at Adhoc and Licadho said they had not encountered the trafficking of women from Cambodia to China in their work, which they said focused on women headed to Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand.
The Global Times reported that a widening gap between the sexes in China – where there were 120 men to every 100 women as of 2005 – may be fuelling bride trafficking and prostitution.
Bith Kimhong, head of the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection at the Ministry of Interior, said he also was unaware of the report. “I have not received any report related to the freeing of Cambodian women in Beijing,” he said.
“The Cambodian embassy will facilitate the help of vulnerable victims.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP