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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Scorn heaped on plan to bar ‘China brides’

Scorn heaped on plan to bar ‘China brides’

The government’s request for China to no longer grant visas to single Cambodian women was lambasted by rights groups yesterday as discriminatory and misguided.

Under increasing pressure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement calling on embassies in neighbouring countries to up their efforts to stop the trafficking of Cambodian women to China for marriage.

“For this problem, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests that China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs orders its embassies and consulates-general abroad, especially in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, to stop providing visas to Cambodian single women,” the statement reads.

The ministry “also advises the Cambodian Embassy and Consulates-General in China not to issue any single status certificate to the Cambodian women so that brokers cannot bring them to marry with Chinese men”.

In the statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests that single Cambodian women should only be granted a working visa if they can produce an official letter of invitation, and only be granted a tourist visa if they deposit $10,000 in a Chinese bank.

Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for rights group Licadho, said he was “shocked” by the ministry’s suggestions.

“It is very strong; other countries never take action like this. I know that it is in order to protect women … but it could affect other women who are single and want to have a holiday,” he said.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), agreed.

“It is not a logical way to deal with the situation. It will affect the people who want … to be tourists in China; it’s not fair for them … to apply for a tourist visa and deposit that amount of money. I’m afraid that would violate individual rights,” he said.

Tola added that he was unsure why the ministry was targeting embassies in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, rather than focusing on the one in Cambodia.

“In all the cases that we intervene in, all of [the women] get visas from the embassy in Cambodia,” he said.

If the government were serious about stopping trafficking, Tola said, it would prosecute brokers and “eliminate the corruption” of its own officials.

“For us it’s quite common to hear that the embassy will ignore the victim, push the victim to go back to the home [of their abuser] or the police station,” he said.

Opposition lawmaker-elect Mu Sochua said that rather than a “blanket ban”, stricter measures should be placed on those applying for a visa.

“When there is a woman who’s never left the country and a visa is applied for on her behalf, there should be some suspicion,” she said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong could not be reached for comment.

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snoopyz's picture

This is only made possible by irresponsible syndicates that abuses woman to earn immoral incomes ..the easy access is made possible by corrupted officials who have no self integrity and values .
To curb this strict enforcement should be implemented .
1. Every female applicant travelling abroad must apply for a certificate of good behavior ..and if single she must deposit an amount equivalent of usd15,000 in her own nameif travelling alone ...If in tour groups the company arranging tour package will have to put a deposit bond to the government as they are fully responsible and accountable if any member in the tour group fails to return the whole tour group visa is not effective , will become null and deposit forfeited
2. The international passport should be microchipped with capabilities to trigger an overstay of applicants where embassy outside Cambodia will be informed so immediate action of the applicants will be tracked and information be published to tell them to contact the embassy ..
3. The immigration passport data system needs to be improvised with popup alerts reminders and remarks of who approve to be audited by independent body
4.If for genuine marriage cases both applicants must be present in Cambodia Registrar of Marriage with terms and conditions set by government .
Human sex trafficking is lucrative and widely abuse with a disgrace as it tarnish the beauty pure image of beautiful Cambodian girls painting a bad image to the international community .Any vice syndicate charged will have their assets confiscated by the courts of law regardless if transferred to next of kin .
5. Educating the girls in school to value the price of their body is not for sale and abusing their own body is disgrace to their religious beliefs and having sex freely destroy the body value
If the government has a prosperous economy with full employment growth and abundant jobs with a good banking system that understands how to take care of the welfare of Cambodian citizens a lot of vice activites will not bloom..Girls could be sold or force to marry by their parents on the only reason that families could not meet their daily basic necessities..

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