Trafficked Children Returned From Thailand

Six Cambodian children who had been trafficked to Thailand were repatriated on Wednesday, according to a government statement, as an official vowed to ramp up efforts to fight child trafficking.

A joint operation between Thai authorities, the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand and the Cambodian consulate in Thailand’s Sakeo province led to the return of four girls and two boys aged 3 to 13 years through the Poipet International Checkpoint, the Foreign Affairs Ministry statement released on Wednesday said.

Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry could not be reached for comment.

Sim Sam Ath, chief of the Poipet checkpoint, said he was away from the province that day and was unaware of the case.

Cambodian children are often trafficked to Thailand and Vietnam to beg for money, with hundreds returned home every year, said Chou Bun Eng, secretary of state and vice chair of the national committee to combat human trafficking at the Interior Ministry.

Common trafficking routes had been closed in response, she said, adding that she planned to form a ministry working group to ramp up efforts in combatting child trafficking.

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