CAMBODIA: statement calling for Thai government to humanely treat Cambodian migrant workers with respect for their rights and dignity


Dear friends,

We wish to share with you the following statement from the Cambodian
Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC)

Asian Human Rights Commission

Hong Kong




June 13, 2014

A statement from the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC)
by the Asian Human Rights Commission

CAMBODIA: statement calling for Thai government to humanely treat
Cambodian migrant workers with respect for their rights and dignity

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) – a coalition
of 21 NGOs working on the promotion of Human Rights, Democracy, and
the Rule of Law in Cambodia deplores the decision of the Thai junta to
deport Cambodian migrants en masse and demands that their deportation
is carried out in a manner which respects their human rights

Since June 1st, 2014, about 40,000 Cambodian workers in Thailand have
self-deported or have been forcibly removed from the country by the
military junta. ADHOC investigators have received credible witness
accounts up to nine Cambodian migrants have been killed, and that
beatings have occurred at the hands of the Thai armed forces..
Unfortunately, in times of crisis in Thailand Cambodians are often
scapegoated. Many Cambodian workers are now stranded at the border
without enough money to get them home.

In the past, the authorities have turned a blind eye to the presence
of illegal immigrants in Thailand needed for booming economy. But the
situation has changed and the country has experienced a decline in GDP
of 2.1%1 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous

Human Dignity is a fundamental human right as mentioned under Article
1 of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which both Thailand
and Cambodia are signatories.

The Thai military violated the human rights of undocumented Cambodian
migrant workers when it forcefully expelled them from the country,
placing them in crowded trucks. This treatment subjected these workers
to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment as prohibited by the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Moreover, due to
inadequate preparation and coordination between the Thai and Cambodian
authorities, the migrants workers have been forced to shelter in
makeshift tents at the border, and hundreds more workers continue to
arrive every day. Water, food, healthcare and shelter are severely
limited. .

To address and improve the situation of human rights of these
Cambodian migrant workers, CHRAC calls and put forwards the following
recommendations to both Thai and Cambodian governments follows:

Thai government shall create a due process for deportation of
Cambodian migrant workers and ensure that Cambodian migrant workers’
right are respected and inform Cambodian Embassy and/or Consular in
Thailand in relation to the arrest, detention and any necessary
deportation of Cambodian migrant workers and treat them fairly and
Thai government shall promote and respect the migrant workers human
rights and shall also fulfil its international human rights
obligations regarding the treatment of Cambodian migrant workers as
members of ASEAN.
Thai government should immediately investigate allegations of
killings of Cambodians.
Cambodian government should create ad-hoc commission to monitor
Cambodian migrant workers’ situation and address emergency issues
faced by Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand and have a clear plan
for the evacuation of Cambodian migrant workers, providing them
temporary shelter, food and water.
Cambodian government should set up temporary offices to provide
emergency support and assistance to Cambodian migrant workers and
widely disseminate the temporary offices where Cambodian migrant
workers are located and working.

For more information, please contact:

–       Mr. Sok Sam Oeun, Chairman of CHRAC,                                    012 901199

–       Mr. Ny Chakrya, Head of Human Rights and Legal Aid section, ADHOC, 011 274959

–       Mr. Ya Navuth, Executive Director of Caram – Cambodia                   012 961427

–       Mr. Run Saray, Executive Director of LAC,                                            012 838341

–       Ms. Sith Hong Eang, Acting President of KYA                                       017 788955

–       Mr. Yong Kim Eng, President of PDP – Center,                                    016 828211

–       Mr. Suon Bunsak, Chief of CHRAC secretariat,                                    092 344357