Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Friday, October 6, 2017

Remains of Hundreds of Dead Cambodian Workers Returned by Thailand

Cambodian Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng addresses a workshop in Siem Reap province, May 24, 2017.
Cambodian Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng addresses a workshop in Siem Reap province, May 24, 2017.

Remains of Hundreds of Dead Cambodian Workers Returned by Thailand

RFA | 5 October 2017

Thailand has sent home to Cambodia the bodies of over 500 migrant workers killed in accidents and in fights from 2014 to 2017, a Cambodian government official says.

Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service, Chou Bun Eng—Secretary of State with Cambodia’s Interior Ministry and vice chair of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking—said that many had been killed while crossing illegally into Thailand in search of work.

“Some were killed by land mines or died in road accidents after being chased by Thai border authorities, while others were killed on the job, some by falling from buildings or by electrocution or by drowning when their fishing boats sank.”

“Others died in fights with coworkers, including Thais and migrants from Myanmar,” Chou Bun Eng said.

“Of these 500 deceased workers, 110 bodies—17 of whom were women—were repatriated during the first half of 2017 alone,” he said.

Over a million Cambodians are now estimated to be working in Thailand, Cambodian Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng said in a July 20 statement, adding that of this number 300,000 are believed to be working in the country illegally.

On June 23, Thailand enacted a royal decree imposing jail terms of up to five years and a fine of up to 100,000 baht  (U.S. $2,941) on illegal workers in the country. The decree was suspended following backlash from employers and migrant advocates, but thousands of Cambodians had already fled the country, fearing arrest and deportation.

Thailand has been widely criticized by rights groups for its treatment of migrant workers, who are often exploited by unscrupulous employers and labor brokers.

“Thailand is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking,” the U.S. State Department said in its 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.


  1. Anonymous6:31 AM

    I told you, "Khmers are very afraid of Thais." And know this, there were thousands and thousands more deaths not reported with no body found. Many bodies got tossed over the fishing boats, dumped into the deep ocean. Others became fertilizers at the planation in Thailand.

    Vietnamese are a lot nicer than Thais. Khmers need to realize that Vietnamese are the true saviors for the Khmers and Cambodia.

  2. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Every year, 60 or so Khmer got shot dead at the border with Thailand for stealing rosewood. They died from shot wounds once escaped back to Cambodia. And the Khmers said nothing about this.

    That's terrible.

  3. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Check the latest report about Thai border guards shooting Cambodians for stealing rosewood.

    "From 2010 to 2015, at least 143 Cambodians were killed by Thai soldiers, while another several hundred were seriously injured from gunshot wounds inflicted by Thai military assault rifles along the nearly 800 kilometre Cambodia-Thai border."

    Trust me. Many of the wounded died from their wounds.