WASHINGTON DC — Rights workers say they are concerned for the safety of Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand, as political tensions in that country deepen.
The Thai military declared martial law there this week, following violent demonstrations. It has also temporarily closed its borders with Cambodia, officials said.
This could complicate the lives of workers from places like Cambodia and Burma, said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia program.
There are an estimated 250,000 Cambodia workers in Thailand, working in the construction, fishing and agricultural industries.
“The migrant workers, in times of trouble, will keep their heads down,” Robertson said. “That’s the smartest thing for them to do.”
Government spokesman Phay Siphan said workers in Thailand have been informed to be careful and to avoid political demonstrations.