A Cambodian woman who went to China to marry a man there was repatriated on Thursday after escaping from her husband’s house and finding refuge at the Cambodian consulate in Guangzhou.
Yoeng Sreymom arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport at about 3:30 p.m. in the company of a man who identified himself only as a representative of the consulate in Guangzhou, China’s third biggest city.
Ms. Sreymom was quickly rushed away from reporters and into a car by a member of the anti-human trafficking police, saying only “I was in China for a year.”
A statement released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday said “The Consulate of Cambodia to Guangzhou, China, cooperated with Chinese authorities to rescue a Cambodian woman who was deceived by a broker who married her off to a Chinese man in China.”
The statement also said that Ms. Sreymom had her passport taken from her by the broker.
Lim Mony, deputy chief of the women’s affairs section at Adhoc, the rights group that first received reports on Ms. Sreymom’s situation, said the victim had been duped by a broker—an increasingly prevalent trend.
Ms. Mony said that in the first six months of 2014, Adhoc had recorded 29 cases of women tricked into marrying Chinese men.
“[Cambodian women] are sold like goods on the market through networks in Cambodia and in China,” Ms. Mony said.
Ms. Mony said Ms. Sreymom’s escape was a warning to other Cambodian women who might be seduced by the false promises of marriage brokers.
Chiv Phally, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said women should coax men to Cambodia, rather than move overseas.
“If they want to marry a foreigner, they should ask them to come to Cambodia and marry them in Cambodia,” he said.
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