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Gov’t to ask Thailand to look after fishermen

Cambodian fishermen rescued from a Thai fishing boat in Indonesian waters wait to be processed by officials at Phnom Penh Airport in June last year. The Cambodian government plans to ask Thailand to take better care of Cambodian fishermen. AFP
Cambodian fishermen rescued from a Thai fishing boat in Indonesian waters wait to be processed by officials at Phnom Penh Airport in June last year. The Cambodian government plans to ask Thailand to take better care of Cambodian fishermen. AFP

Gov’t to ask Thailand to look after fishermen

The Cambodian Human Rights Committee plans to ask Thailand to implement safety protections for Cambodian fishermen working in Thailand.

CHRC head Keo Remy said on Wednesday the move was prompted by the recent repatriation of Cambodian fishermen who were enslaved on a Thai fishing boat.

He said the request to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission would call for the protection of fishermen’s rights. However, he declined to detail the specific measures because the request was still being drafted.

“We will send it to the Thai government human rights committee for their cooperation to encourage the Thai government to help monitor cases of human rights violations on Thai fishing boats,” he said. “We are not talking about legal or illegal fishermen; we are thinking about the human rights.”

An official at Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission yesterday said officials were not prepared to comment on the issue yesterday.

Sem Chausok, a human rights observer at Licadho, said the lack of work in Cambodia and the loss of farmland have forced people to migrate, making them “vulnerable to exploitation”.

The human trafficking ranking for both countries last week was elevated in the annual US Trafficking in Persons report, although “endemic corruption” was said to still be hampering the Kingdom’s anti-trafficking efforts.

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