Cambodia Told to Shut Down ‘Slave Compounds’ After Warnings From Asian Embassies

The country’s interior minister says he will end the crime wave in Sihanoukville by mid-year.

The Cambodian government has been told to urgently address “a crisis of forced labor, slavery and torture” after warnings were issued by at least five Asian embassies amid persistent reports detailing kidnapping and extortion rackets, particularly on this country’s south coast.

Thirty-five civil society groups said reports indicated that thousands of people, mostly foreign nationals, had found themselves trapped in large compounds and forced to work after being kidnapped, sold, trafficked, or tricked into accepting jobs in Cambodia.

“Workers who escape report having faced physical and mental threats and violence at the hands of their captors,” they said in a joint statement, calling for a coordinated mass response between the Cambodian and foreign governments, and international organizations including the United Nations.

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