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Thousands of Cambodian Migrants Leave Thailand: IOM Concern

Posted on Wed, Jun-11-2014
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Cambodian border town of Poi Pet. IOM assisted irregular migrants leaving Thailand with transport to their home town. Photo by IOM/Joe Lowry 2014

Cambodia - Large numbers of irregular migrant workers from Cambodia are leaving Thailand through the Poi Pet International Border Checkpoint, according to IOM, which has deployed staff on the border.

Many are effectively stranded, with no money to pay for onward transport to reunite with their families. IOM Cambodia has sent three buses to help transport the returnees, but is concerned that flows have suddenly increased over recent days, placing a strain on services at this, the main border crossing, between the two countries.

“There are usually only about 100 migrants coming through each day,” said Leul Mekonnen, IOM’s Acting Chief of Mission in Cambodia. “But we are already seeing more than 1,000 a day and we do not know what the coming days hold.”

IOM Cambodia is working closely with Cambodian immigration officers at the Poi Pet Immigration Centre at the request of the Department of Immigration to assist the migrants with onward transport to their provinces.

More than half of the migrants are women and children. Aside from transport, there is also a growing need for food, water, health care and shelter. IOM is currently assessing needs and looking for emergency funding to deal with the sudden influx.

“IOM’s primary concern now is the safety and dignity of vulnerable migrants,” said Mekonnen. “We are doing our best to get them home as soon as possible.”

For more information please contact

Leul Mekennon
IOM Cambodia
Email: lmkennon@iom.int

Or

Joe Lowry
IOM’s Regional Office in Bangkok
Email: jlowry@iom.int
Tel. +6681 8708081

Joe Lowry will be at Poi Pet tomorrow (12/6) at 9am local time.