Battambang Governor steps up the fight against trafficking, illegal crossings


Battambang Governor steps up the fight against trafficking, illegal crossings

The Battambang authorities have taken measures to prevent the illegal trafficking of workers to Thailand and ordered the relevant authorities to arrest the ringleaders to face prosecution.

Battambang Provincial Governor Sok Lou said that he had sternly informed the district administration and the authorities along the border in the province to take stringent measures to prevent the illegal trafficking of Cambodian workers to Thailand and to arrest the masterminds and their accomplices.

The implementation of this action was made at a meeting with the participation of border officials to inspect the work and general situation at the border gates in Battambang province.

All the relevant authorities and the border police have been instructed to eliminate all illegal activity that occurs in their area responsibly and firmly, he said.

“I urge all officers who are working at the border checkpoints in Battambang province to unite, the immigration police and the border police units must cooperate to fulfill their respective roles and responsibilities to stop human trafficking and locals who cross the border to work in Thailand illegally,” he said.

Dy Thehoya, CENTRAL’s Unit Head of Anti-Human Trafficking and Migration, said yesterday that he fully supported the Battambang authorities’ plans to arrest the ring leaders who traffick migrant workers to Thailand.

He said that he noticed the authorities have instructed the police and soldiers to stop migrant workers from illegally crossing the border.

However, some local officials did not heed the instruction.

Most migrant workers illegally sneaked into Thailand as they are unable to find work in Cambodia and some of them cannot afford obtaining  the right documentation to work in Thailand legally. Some also live in remote areas and do not know or understand the procedure to become legal workers in Thailand, he added.

“We still see, every month, workers illegally crossing the border into Thailand, so I call on relevant authorities to take strict action against the traffickers and illegal workers, through fines or imprisonment according to the law,” he said.

In March, Moeun Tola, the executive director of labour rights group Central reported that last year Thai authorities sent 97,000 illegal migrant workers back to Cambodia, mostly through Banteay Meanchey province.

There are thousands of illegal and legal migrant workers returning every year through the border gates in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Oddar Meanchey and Pailin provinces, he added.

Source: Khmer Times

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