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Again, abuse in China alleged

Photos of women who were allegedly trafficked to China and South Korea by a marriage brokerage based in Phnom Penh
Photos of women who were allegedly trafficked to China and South Korea by a marriage brokerage based in Phnom Penh last year sit on the floor of a police station in November. Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Again, abuse in China alleged

Four parents in Kampong Cham province have filed complaints with provincial police alleging that their daughters are being sexually abused by their husbands in China, officers said yesterday.

Thol Meng, deputy bureau chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking department, said a total of 10 concerned mothers and fathers visited his office yesterday to report the alleged abuse.

“Their daughters told them that they are being mistreated by their husbands and their relatives and want to return home,” he said.

The women, Meng continued, went to China after brokers organised passports for them and promised them high-paying jobs.

“But after they arrived in China, they were forced to get married to Chinese men, not work. They were defrauded,” he said.

Some of the parents had reported that their daughters were being forced to have sex with their husbands and “slapped or kicked” if they refused, Meng added.

Phuong Sokhuon, 48, one of the mothers, said that the lure of a high salary for her daughter, 21, had been too good to refuse.

“We want her to make a good salary, because our family is poor,” she said. “But I felt sorry for my daughter when I realised what she was going through. I want her to return.”

In the past year, stories of young Cambodian women being deceived by brokers have regularly made headlines. A typical situation is a woman being physically or sexually assaulted in a domestic setting, while stories of women being forced into sex work have also surfaced.

Police have made some effort to address the problem. A number of broker arrests have been made at Phnom Penh International Airport or at guesthouses in the capital.

Only yesterday, the Post reported that two Chinese men and a Cambodian woman had been arrested in a raid in which seven young women allegedly bound for China were freed.

In December, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said the government was targeting brokers but finding it difficult to prevent abuse once women were in China. The Community Legal Education Center has suggested Cambodia needs more officials at its embassy in Beijing investigating complaints.

Meng, the provincial police official, said he would forward the latest complaints to the Ministry of Interior and conduct a local investigation.

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