MORE than 100 impoverished migrants who moved to Vietnam to beg are expected to be transported back to Cambodia today, NGO and government officials said Thursday.
The move is part of an ongoing exchange of illegal workers and victims of human trafficking. The neighbouring nations have agreed to collaborate on eliminating the trafficking of women and children, but human rights observers say that so far, it has been a one-way deal, with an influx of migrants returning to Cambodia and few Vietnamese going the other way.
“We receive illegal Cambodians, but there are no illegal Vietnamese being sent [today],” said Nget Dara, the Svay Rieng provincial monitor for the local rights group Adhoc.
Sao Sitha, deputy chief of children’s welfare at Svay Rieng’s Department of Social Affairs, agreed it was “rare” for Cambodia to send illegal Vietnamese migrants home, but said local NGOs often help.
She said her officials will return the migrants to their hometowns.
This year, 773 illegal Cambodian workers and victims of trafficking have been returned from Vietnam. Only 11 Vietnamese have been sent home by Cambodia over the same period, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs.