News / Asia

    Cambodia Urges China Visa Restrictions

    Women hold Cambodian and Chinese flags for welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 31, 2012.
    Women hold Cambodian and Chinese flags for welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 31, 2012.

    Cambodia says it has asked China to restrict the number of visas it issues to single Cambodian women, to prevent the brokering of marriages to Chinese men.

    The appeal comes as an increasing number of Cambodian women are finding their way into Chinese marriages and becoming victims of human trafficking.

    Chu Bun Eng, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Interior and head of the National Authority Against Human Trafficking, said restrictive visas will help lower the number of trafficked women.

    "We sent a letter to Chinese embassy telling them that nowadays many Cambodian women are tricked by fake marriage to Chinese men in China," she said. "They are now suffering. We request the embassy refer the issue to Chinese authorities in China." 

    Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Cambodia has asked for China’s cooperation, including at its embassies in Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, where Cambodian women might also request visas.

    "Because this issues keep piling up, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested cooperation from the Chinese embassy to deal with the issue," he said. "That is why Chinese embassy has started to have tougher restrictions on visas for single Cambodian women traveling to China." 

    But a Chinese spokesman said he could not confirm or deny that Beijing was prepared to restrict visas.

    Chinese Embassy spokesman Cheng Hong Bo did say that China is ready to work closely with Cambodia on the issue of human trafficking.  "Between the two countries, I think that we should put more emphasis on [the trafficking issue] too," he said.

    Human trafficking has been a longstanding problem in Cambodia.

    The rights group Adhoc says that in the first six months of this year, it has received 108 complaints of cross-border trafficking, with some 295 victims involved. Of those, 29 people had reportedly gone to China.

    Lim Mony, Adhoc’s deputy chief, said trafficked women who have managed to escape China report sexual abuse, overwork and starvation.

    “They said that some of the victims took suicide drugs and others went into hiding or are detained to work as slaves in the homes,” she said.

    She added that traffickers running the sham marriages have a deep network in Cambodia and China.

    One victim of the scheme who decided to withhold her name, agreed to be interviewed at her impoverished home in Kampong Cham province. She said her family was persuaded by a middleman to send her to be married to a man in China, and in exchange her family would receive money each month.

    Instead, she said, she was taken by a human trafficker who raped her before passing her on to a Chinese man who let her live with him in rural China.

    "I thought I would get a good husband — one husband only ... I was first raped by the trafficker. I was forced to change from one husband to another. Finally I get a poor husband living near a mountain," she said, adding that her life there was "miserable, like a living hell."

    She managed to escape the house and call her mother, who sought out Adhoc for help. After eventually returning home she filed a complaint against the trafficker, who remains at large.

    Chu Bun Eng says her ministry will take action regarding any complaints that reach her office.

    "If they filed complaint against a trafficker and we didn't take actions, then they can say we ignore them. But we never ignore any report of human trafficking. The important issue is that the victims need to cooperate with the authorities to successfully do the jobs," she said.

    But Adhoc says many victims have filed complaints and government officials have refused to take action.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: kamakar from: SrokKhmer
    August 06, 2014 11:42 AM
    Watch out single Cambodia women. You may be subject to the Chinese slave sex prostitution enterprise network oversea. Don't let $$ sign foul you.

    by: william li from: canada
    August 05, 2014 10:40 AM
    the reason is not the visa, the reason is that China is growing fast but most South Asian countries are still very poor! nowadays, big number of women from Vietnam, Cambodia and Filipons come to china looking for marriage. even Russian girls from the North.

    by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
    August 04, 2014 11:07 PM
    It is only if Cambodia improves its conditions for their women that such a human trafficking problem can be ameliorated. Asking China to restrict visa would not help. Don't put the cart before the horse.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora