Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘I don’t know when or if I will go back to Thailand’

‘I don’t know when or if I will go back to Thailand’

‘I don’t know when or if I will go back to Thailand’

Thousands of illegal workers have passed through the small town of Aranyaprathet on the Cambodia-Thai border opposite Poipet.

This was one of many crossings flooded by up to 225,000 Cambodians who returned home last month.Many travelled with all their belongings, loaded up with plastic bags full of clothes, television sets, satellite dishes, fans and sleeping mats.

“I don’t know when or if I will go back to Thailand,” said Wan, 31, a Cambodian worker.

“I bought all these items with the money I earned, so I am taking them back home with me.”

Many were reluctant to leave their jobs in Thailand where they earned more money than they could in Cambodia. Pao, 22, sells clothes in a Bangkok shop, and picks up a monthly wage of least 12,000 baht ($370) a month.

“I’m only going home because my sister, who works with me, is worried about the situation and wants to go back,” said Pao. “I will wait for a week then I will consider going back to Bangkok to work.”

A crackdown by the Thai junta forced the majority of Cambodian migrants to return home.

Seng Soeun, 27, was employed in the construction sector before his boss warned him it was no longer safe for illegal Cambodians to be working in Thailand.

He fled towards the border but fearing retribution for working

illegally he hid in the forest and escaped the constant patrols. “In Thailand, life is better than in Cambodia in terms of earning money,” said Soeun. “But I am Cambodian, I cannot speak Thai, so my life is at risk [that is why I left].”

This article was compiled from a story written by Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai and Nanchanok Wongsamuth in the Bangkok Post

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all