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JUNE 2014

The Thai Political unrest leads to many problems affecting neighbouring country such as Cambodia. Cambodia is currently facing a massive return of irregular Cambodian migrants at the Poipet border crossing. Almost 170,000 migrant workers both legal and illegal were deported back as of Monday 16, 2014 (The Phnom Penh Post, 16 June 2014).

Situation

Deported Migrant worker 2 200x150 Deported workers 2 200x133 Shelters tent and protections 2 200x133

The Thai Political unrest leads to many problems affecting neighbouring country such as Cambodia. Cambodia is currently facing a massive return of irregular Cambodian migrants at the Poipet border crossing. Almost 170,000 migrant workers both legal and illegal were deported back as of Monday 16, 2014 (The Phnom Penh Post, 16 June 2014). They are returning home from Thailand amid fear of arrest by the authorities and unprecedented layoffs by their employers. Most of the migrants are undocumented and work in construction and agricultural industries for salaries of less than USD10 per day. The number of deportees has apparently been increasing day by day with approximately 25,000 - 30,000 deportees per day just at Poipet alone.

There is estimation that over 150,000 people are irregular migrant workers and legal migrants are approximately 80,000 in Thailand (source: IOM, 12 June 2014). Reports from Banteay Mean Chey governor indicated that mostly illegal migrant workers are being deported and the plan is continuously until end of the month. This is the largest-ever that Cambodia migrant workers are deported. The exodus has increased rapidly day by day but there is no way of knowing if this will continue, stabilise or tail off. There are thousands and thousands of deportees struggling to get access to proper food and transportation to go home.  As most of deportees are illegal migrant, and Thai military has suddenly sent those people home, the workers were forced to stop immediately and their wages are yet to be paid. The lack of financial availability poses difficulties for those deportees to purchase food and water from the market while waiting for the trucks to take them home. Most of deportees are not from Banteay Meanchey where the Poipet border checkpoint is allocated, they are from different parts of the country which require more effort to pay for their own transport home.

Thousands of deportees are off loaded at a Poipet waiting point where space to accomodate the crowd is limited. As they are staying in open areas, they are exposed to harsh weather conditions, pregnant women and children are considered as high vulnerable groups. The long journey from Central Thailand to Cambodia border has also contributed to the weaken health of women and children, and some of them have even fainted along the way because the trucks transporting them were overloaded with many people.

 

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