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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora