Khmer Krom in Thailand Call for UN to Speed Up Refugee Claim Cases

A UN refugee agency spokesperson in Thailand said careful consideration of the cases must be carried out as “not every asylum seeker is necessarily a refugee”.

Some 200 Kampuchea Krom asylum seekers who fled Vietnam claiming persecution have called on the United Nations Refugee Agency to speed up their applications.

Advocates for the asylum seekers said the group, who are from a Khmer ethnic minority group living mostly in southern Vietnam, faced numerous challenges in Thailand, including living as undocumented immigrants while their applications were processed, risking refoulement to Vietnam.

Prak Sereivuth, president of the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), a lobby group, led a delegation to Washington last week to advocate for the asylum seekers’ rights.

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