Calls for Action About Human Trafficking of Taiwanese in Cambodia

Concerns have been raised in recent times about the possibility of Taiwanese facing human trafficking in Cambodia. Immigration data shows that there may be around 2,000 Taiwanese victims of human trafficking in Cambodia, or potentially as many as 5,000 individuals, due to difficulties determining the number of Taiwanese in Cambodia.

The National Police Agency’s estimate is that there are at least 2,000 victims of human trafficking in Cambodia, with 1,000 Taiwanese having traveled to Cambodia recently but only around 100 returning each month. The overall situation is still unclear, however, seeing as the police have officially documented only 141 cases, with 17 persuaded not to travel to Cambodia after warnings at the airport. Namely, some gangs engaged in human trafficking transport victims into Myanmar or Cambodia by land from third countries that serve as relay points, making such cases more difficult to detect.

It is thought that Taiwanese were persuaded to travel to Cambodia and became victims of human trafficking because of promises of high-paying jobs. Victims have their passports and other documents confiscated from them, are threatened to prevent them from leaving, sold multiple times between captors, and face physical violence from their captors, including sexual assault. There has been confirmation of one death of a Taiwanese human trafficking victim in Sihanoukville, Cambodia to date. Efforts by Taiwanese to escape include jumping from buildings, suffering injuries in the process.

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