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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs