More than 100,000 Cambodian migrant workers have returned from Thailand over the last two weeks following the May 22 military coup. Some have been deported by the Thai military, in what appears to be well-coordinated raids.
The Thai military denies a policy of deportation. Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee, termed claims of mass deportations, or plans to expel Cambodians as “groundless” and “rumours”.
Cambodians generally work in low-paid occupations in Thailand, with the aim of sending money home to their families.
Political unrest caused Thailand’s economy to contract in the last quarter, meaning businesses could be less reliant on migrant labourers than during previous years. As rumours swirl about violent attacks targeting foreign migrants, it remains unclear for how long the exodus will continue.