Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia needs clear policy on immigrants



Cambodia needs clear policy on immigrants

Cambodia needs clear policy on immigrants

Dear Editor,
I write in response to the article “Vietnam repatriates Cambodian beggars” (December 23). I was ashamed to hear that nearly 900 illegal Cambodian beggars were repatriated by Vietnamese authorities this year, as well as the recent deportation of illegal Cambodian workers sent back through the border by Thai authorities, several of whom were killed while passing through the forest on the Cambodian-Thai border.

However, there have been no strong reactions against the Thai shootings of these people, just warnings for the migrants not to emigrate to Thailand, forgetting that a poor standard of living forced these people to leave home and cross the border illegally in the first place.

In general, the government always declares Cambodia is run by a “government of economic growth”. But this slogan should be questioned: What does it mean that the Cambodian economy does not have enough capacity to create work for domestic labourers? On the other hand, during the recent tensions between Cambodia and Thailand, we heard information about hundreds of Cambodian returnees who were being turned back every day.

Then, the Cambodian authorities quickly deported the ethnic Uighur refugees, who were seeking political asylum, back to China last Saturday. But in the case of other illegal foreign immigrants living and gaining job opportunities in the Kingdom, the government does not take measures against them as actively as Vietnam and Thailand.

From my point of view, I think that this slow reaction against illegal immigrants is maybe due to the fact that the Cambodian economy has not yet produced enough work for the local labour force, and that perhaps Cambodia does not have the necessary immigration laws to control who enters its territory.

Therefore, we would very much appreciate if the National Assembly was to review and pass important draft laws on immigration to deal with domestic labour and manage the population in order to alleviate poverty in Cambodia.

Tong Soprach
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and