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11 Mar 2022

Luke Hunt, The Diplomat

Cambodian Govt. told to shut down "slave compounds" of online scamming operations

"Cambodia Told to Shut Down ‘Slave Compounds’ After Warnings From Asian Embassies", 11 March 2022

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.


Most of the alleged victims were put to work in online scamming operations, targeting foreign nationals who live outside the country, primarily based from here in the southern port town of Sihanoukville, which has a long held a reputation as a notorious haven for criminals who operate with impunity.


The group of 35 organizations – including Adhoc, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Licadho, the International Justice Mission, and Transparency International – added that the embassies of Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, and China had all issued warnings about the situation.