8 April 2016, Svay Rieng – USAID’s Cambodia Countering Trafficking-in-Persons program (USAID-CTIP), through partner organization Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CCPCR), has provided appropriate services to 27 Cambodians who were repatriated by the Vietnamese government to Cambodia on April 8. The repatriation was held at the CCPCR Bavet Transit Center in Svay Rieng, and was managed by H. E. En Tara, Cambodian Consul to Vietnam, and the other government officials and police from the Provincial Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and the Provincial Committee for Counter Trafficking in Persons.
Un Vuthy, a Protection Service Specialist of Winrock, highlighted that if the deportees are identified as either victims of human trafficking or vulnerable people, they would be given further support including livelihood trainings, capital for small business, and basic provisions such as rice and clothing. After the officials and polices conducted the victim identification screening, which was assisted by CCPCR, the deportees were handed to the care of CCPCR. CCPCR’s project, supported by USAID-CTIP, will provide appropriate services and referrals to the deportees. The Provincial Coordinator of CCPCR, Kong Sophea, explained that CCPCR has provided the deportees with services such as food, short-stay accommodation, counselling, general medical checks, education and transportation.
According to Cambodian Consul H.E. Tara, the deportees were collected from crowded areas in Ho Chi Minh and a number of small Vietnamese cities.
Pen Sovanny, a Vice Rector of the Provincial Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation mentioned that illegal migrants in Vietnam working as lottery sellers and beggars confronted a number of issues such as improper living conditions, lack of health care, school absenteeism, accidents and exploitation. He stated that without the CCPCR Bavet Transit Center in Svay Rieng, it would be hard to work with deportees. Tai Sokhom, Vice Director of the Human, Veterans and Trafficking Office indicated that among the 27 deportees, 19 were females, 20 were children between the ages of 0 to 17 years old, and 16 were under 11 years old. None of them were male adults. He explained that they had migrated to Vietnam illegally, without any legal documents, using unofficial border gates and were there to sell lottery tickets. Since the beginning of 2016, approximately 100 Cambodians have been deported from Vietnam. He appreciated the ongoing support and strong cooperation of NGOs in tackling unsafe migration and related issues.
The USAID-CTIP program, implemented by Winrock International Cambodia and its NGO partners including CCPCR, aims to combat trafficking through improving systems to counter trafficking-in-persons by building local capacity to prevent TIP, empowering and protecting migrants and at-risk populations, identifying victims and supporting prosecution.