Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Women return home after ordeal in China

Women return home after ordeal in China

Two 19-year-old women trafficked to China as brides last year escaped abusive husbands and a broker to finally return home on Sunday night, a relative said yesterday.

“I am so happy they are safe,” said Kim Vicheat*, the father of one victim and uncle of the other. “They are pregnant, so now they need to rest.”

Vicheat borrowed $800 to fly his daughter and niece home from Shanghai where they said they were stranded, broke and, despite pleas to the Cambodian consulate there, could receive no financial assistance. Now back home and mired in debt, the women aren’t receiving any reintegration support either, according to rights group Adhoc, which is monitoring their case.

Opposition lawmaker and former Minister of Women’s Affairs Mu Sochua said the lack of support is not surprising given the absence of a state budget for social services aimed at victims.

“It’s not just social and economic support, but also mental and psychological assistance that’s needed. Without state funding, that’s almost impossible,” she said. “The whole family needs social welfare, otherwise [the women], with no alternative way out of their family’s debt, will find the traffickers coming back again.”

According to a study by the International Organization for Migration, the entire act of rescue and repatriation may be “counterproductive” if not “supported by infrastructure necessary for the long-term reintegration of the victim”.

Police officials have jumped on the case, however, and are slated to meet Adhoc and the victims today to investigate the broker, whom the girls named as Neang Vanau. The Ministry of Interior declined to comment on whether an arrest warrant has been issued.

According to the US State Department, Cambodia convicted just eight labour traffickers last year and four in 2012 due to a lack of evidence and incentives for victims to testify in court.

*Named changed to protect identity.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Factory

Factory floor collapses

Garment workers lucky to escape with minor injuries after accident in Takeo province.

Civil parties react angrily at being turned away from the gates at the ECCC.

Anger toward Khmer Rouge tribunal

Protests directed toward proceedings at the Khmer Rouge tribunal from both inside the court and out on the first day of evidentiary hearings in Case 002/02.

Refugee protest

No refuge for Australian embassy

Cambodian protesters take to the streets again against the Abbott government's refugee deal with the Kingdom.