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More fishermen trafficked to Thai boats set to return

More fishermen trafficked to Thai boats set to return

Another group of trafficked Cambodian fishermen will be rescued after escaping enslavement on Thai boats to Indonesia where they have been detained pending repatriation, rights groups and police have said.

Meas Saneth, a program director of the rights group Coordination of Action Research on AIDs and Mobility, said the men had escaped after being trafficked in 2010.

“They were deprived food. They did not eat enough. They could not endure it, especially as they did not get paid. They escaped and then they were caught by Indonesian authorities,” he said.

They were deprived of food and they were not paid.  They could not endure it and escaped

The men, 11 from Takeo province, one from Kampong Chhnang and one from Kampong Thom, had been detained by Indonesian authorities because they did not have passports, he said.
“The Cambodian embassy will visit [the detention centre] and conduct interviews to identify the victims on September 13 and 14 and will complete forms for them to come back their homeland,” he said.

Chiv Phally, deputy director and the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile protection department said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cambodian Embassy in Indonesia and rights groups were working to repatriate the men as soon as possible.

“When they arrive, we will interview them to search for the brokers, it is difficult to contact the victims because there are many islands in Indonesia,” he said

The International Organisation for Migration and CARAM were helping to facilitate their return, he added.

Chan Sareth, 42, a father of one of the victims, said he was eagerly awaiting his son’s return. “We are poor. My son was cheated,” he said.

Research by the International Labour Organisation found that 20% of migrant workers in Thai fishing boats are trafficked, according to Lim Tith, national project coordinator at the United Nations Inter Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

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