The trafficking of male Cambodians for labour exploitation purposes remains rife, says a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“We’re making inroads, but the problem is huge,” John McGeoghan, IOM’s regional migrants’ assistance specialist, told IRIN. “Solving this problem requires political will and resources.”
Since 2007, more than 500 men have been assisted by the agency - 114 in 2011. Many were taken to countries as far away as Indonesia, Malaysia and Mauritius. Most returned thanks to IOM collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and received reintegration assistance from IOM and NGOs.
Men from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have long been trafficked into the Thai fishing industry, with some victims spending up to three years at sea.
According to the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, thousands of Cambodians are trafficked annually. Cambodia is the sixth most frequent country of origin for trafficking victims after Ukraine, Haiti, Yemen, Laos and Uzbekistan, IOM reported.