Immigration officials from the Interior Ministry and Pursat province today are to begin a census of all foreigners living in the Kingdom, though it is expected to focus primarily on those of Vietnamese descent.
Following a meeting in Pursat yesterday afternoon, Major General Khun Sambor, chief of the ministry’s intelligence department, told the Post that a census across the province was scheduled to begin.
“Based on the meeting, our team will start conducting the census of foreigners on Thursday,” he said, referring all further questions to the provincial authority.
Ban Heng, Pursat provincial deputy police chief and head of the force’s immigration department, said that nearly 30 officers will begin the door-to-door census in the province’s Bakan and Kandieng districts.
“Most of the foreigners are Vietnamese workers,” he said.
Sok Hieng* is concerned about a government census of foreigners that some observers believe will focus primarily on those of Vietnamese descent.
“I am afraid that I will be forced to leave Cambodia because I do not have ID yet,” said Hieng, a 33-year-old construction worker who was born in Phnom Penh to Vietnamese parents. “When I go to Vietnam, they consider me Cambodian; I am in the middle between Cambodian and Vietnamese.”
The government effort to take a more precise count of foreigners living in Cambodia could be the first step in developing a clearer policy regarding undocumented Vietnamese in the Kingdom seeking to be recognised as citizens, said Ang Chanrith of Minority Rights Organization (MIRO).
Sok Phal, head of the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department, yesterday declined to answer questions about the data gathering, except to say that it is not yet complete.
Children born in Cambodia to Vietnamese parents are not given birth certificates or family books. In addition, a convoluted citizenship application process that requires everything from language tests to the King’s signature makes it difficult for those people to obtain citizenship, Chanarith said.
How would the Press and journalists raise their voices according to the true sense of the word “freedom”? How would the Press – once established – carry out its true God given role, critics and build a sustainable social justice for everyone, not bow or tremble before the danger of imminent foreign invasion?
It is therefore high time for the Vietnamese Press and its citizens-journalists to exercise their independent free will and answer these questions. Then to follow the experiment of the most progressive civil society in the world, thus one of the solutions commands us to establish an Independent Vietnam Journalists Association.
By Lauren Crothers | June 3, 2014
While there can be no doubt of the depth of the horrors inflicted upon Cambodia’s population between 1975 and 1979, sexualized crimes committed specifically against the country’s ethnic minority communities have largely been shrouded in silence.
On Monday, however, the Cambodian Defenders Project released a series of first-person accounts from more than 100 ethnic Vietnamese, Khmer Krom, Khmer Islam and Cham Muslim people in six provinces that together paint a vivid picture of the Khmer Rouge regime’s sustained efforts to marginalize, outbreed and ultimately extinguish their ways of life.
For the minority communities in six provinces, the years between the regime’s rise and fall were marked by deliberate, sustained and sometimes fatal sexualized violence in the form of rape, forced marriage and sexual slavery, lead researcher Rochelle Braaf found.
“Sexual violence appears to have been another method by which the Khmer Rouge persecuted minorities,” the report says.
“Ethnic minorities were sometimes and in some locations targeted for purges. In circumstances where ethnic minority women were to be killed, respondents indicated that women were often raped first,” it said.
Jobs, schooling and state resources are closed to those without papers