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Preparations Being Made for Deportation of 165,000 Cambodian Workers in Thailand 

2012-12-11 - CLEC

Cambodian migrant workers stream across the border at Poipet. Deportation of undocumented workers means increased fees for Cambodian recruitment agencies following the Thai Cabinet's decision not to extend the National Verification Process.

On behalf of undocumented Cambodian migrant workers currently in Thailand, the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) would like to express their concern at the recent confirmation that the Thai Government will begin preparations for a mass deportation this week.

According to reports of a meeting between officials from Thailand and Cambodia the Thai Ministry of Labor confirmed preparations were underway to urgently deport 165,000 Cambodian migrant workers who have not completed the National Verification Process prior to December 14, 2012.

The collective nature of such an expulsion would make it extremely difficult for the Thai Government to ensure the workers would receive the simplest of human rights. The consequence of such a large scale deportation would likely result in the Cambodian migrants being treated inhumanely; violently ushered from Thailand, being held in detention for a prolonged period of time, and having very little access to medical aid.

CLEC calls on the Cambodian government to immediately engage the Thai Cabinet, seeking a new round of registration for foreign workers wanting to undergo the process. Further, CLEC would like to strongly encourage the government to ensure that if the Cambodian workers are to be deported, that they are transported in a safe and formal notion and that their human rights are carefully protected and respected.

CLEC further demands increased transparency regarding links between government officials and members of the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agencies. An extension of the National Verification Process is the most equitable solution.

 Ultimately, CLEC would like to encourage the Cambodian government to address the informal migration of their constituents to Thailand. The Cambodian government has a responsibility to protect the fundamental freedoms of Cambodian workers, and ensure their treatment is in accordance with the nation’s Labor Laws here in their country of origin. The prosperity of Cambodian industries are not currently being shared with its hardest working individuals, economic growth and development could not be further from equitable, hence Cambodians feel compelled to cross the border in search of work. The desperation that currently typifies Cambodian labor migration can no longer be ignored.  


 For more information please contact:

Mr. Tola Moeun, Head of Labor Program, +855 66 777 056

Mr. Joel Preston, Consultant, +855 66 777 037