THE remains of a Cambodian migrant worker believed to have been shot dead in Thailand by his employer were repatriated yesterday, a border official said.
Chim Chamnan, chief of the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations office in Pailin province, said the victim, 24-year-old Vath Vanna, was shot in the head by his manager on Saturday following a scuffle at a drinking party.
He said the body had then been burned beyond recognition in a bid to destroy the evidence of the killing.
“The corpse has been returned [yesterday] evening, and his relatives picked his body up,” he said. “We have written a complaint and sent it to our superiors to log a lawsuit.”
He said Thai authorities had arrested the suspect, who was being held in a prison in Chanburi province.
Dy Phen, deputy chief of the border office of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said only a liver and some bones remained following the burning.
“It is a cruel act from a human being,” he said. “We have sent a report to the consular officials in [Thailand’s] Sa Kaeo province, to file a complaint and find justice for the victim.”
Regional migration rights
The report out of Pailin province came as civil society groups gathered in Phnom Penh to discuss the importance of ensuring the safety of migrant workers as regional economies continue to integrate.
Sinapan Samydorai, who convened yesterday’s meeting of the Taskforce on ASEAN Migrant Workers, said there was “an urgent need for an agreement to protect” the rights of migrants.
“The ASEAN economy will be integrated in 2015, and promoting safe migration is crucial,” he said. “Many Cambodians are sent to work overseas, but we must ensure that their basic rights should be respected.”
Thun Saray, president of the rights group Adhoc, noted that some prospective migrant workers had allegedly been abused even before leaving Cambodia, citing the cases of women training to become domestic servants in Malaysia.