VN Says NGO Can Care for Deported Girls

Ten young Vietnamese girls convicted on immigration charg­es in Cambodia will continue to be cared for by Afesip, the NGO that sheltered them here, after they are deported to Vietnam, said Afesip adviser Pierre Legros.

The girls, who were rescued from Svay Pak brothels in May but were arrested in June on im­migration charges, are serving two- to three-month jail terms.

Legros said he had been given approval by Vietnamese authorities to care of the girls after their deportation with the help of Vietnam’s Women’s Union in Ho Chi Minh City. But he said he did not know when they would be returned to Vietnam.

“I have no confirmation of the of the date of deportation. I have gotten no information from the judges [regarding] the date or process of the deportation.” He added that he has not heard from the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, either.

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Duy Hung said it was his understanding that “the case is still being processed by the Cambodian authorities.”

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Nop Sophon said the matter is in the hands of the Ministry of Interior. But Ministry of Interior anti-trafficking officer Phuong Sophy said he did not know how the ministry will deal with the case, which has given him a “headache.”

He said it is not even clear if the deportations are his ministry’s responsibility.


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