Cambodia Issues - 2023


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Disputes - international

Cambodia-Laos: Cambodia is concerned that Laos' extensive upstream dam construction will affect Cambodian waters downstream

Cambodia-Thailand: Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to maintain peace along the border regardless of the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over territorial dispute near Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple; the ICJ decision of 11 November 2013 determined that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear; the border disputes do not involve large amounts of territory, and most of the issues were settled by the Nov. 11, 2013 ICJ ruling

Cambodia-Vietnam: issues include casinos built in Cambodia near the border (gambling and prostitution); narcotics (criminals, crime, and abuse); trafficking of women and children, petrol smuggling into Cambodia from Vietnam, illegal logging, and illegal migration; a positive development is the special economic Zone in Bavet, Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia that is being developed by the Manhattan (Svay Rieng) International Group of Taiwan

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 75,000 (2022)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Cambodia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore, Cambodia was downgraded to Tier 3; authorities took some steps to address trafficking, including continuing to arrest, prosecute and convict some traffickers, and identifying and assisting some victims; however, corruption continued to impede law enforcement efforts, legal actions, and provision of services to victims; authorities did not investigate or take legal action against any officials involved in the large majority of credible reports of complicity; officials failed to proactively identify victims among the highly vulnerable groups of men, women, and children subjected to human trafficking throughout the country; authorities did not provide adequate protection for victims domestically or overseas and relied heavily on foreign donors and NGOs to provide care (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit Cambodian men, women, and children in forced labor and sex trafficking in Cambodia and abroad, and foreign nationals are trafficked in Cambodia; Cambodian adults and children migrate to other countries in the region or increasingly to the Middle East where traffickers force them to work in agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, and domestic servitude; significant numbers of Cambodian men and boys are subject to forced labor on Thai ships in international waters and may experience physical abuse, nonpayment or underpayment of wages, and confinement at sea; brick kiln owners exploit thousands of Cambodians, including children, through debt-based coercion; children from poor families are vulnerable to forced labor, often with the complicity of their parents, in domestic servitude, forced begging, or street vending in Thailand and Vietnam; traffickers recruit Cambodian women and girls from rural areas under false pretenses, or sometimes through complicit parents, to travel to the PRC to marry PRC-national men where they are subject to sex trafficking or forced labor; Cambodian and ethnic Vietnamese women and girls from rural areas move to cities and tourist areas where they are sex trafficked (2022)

Illicit drugs

a significant transshipment country for Burma-sourced methamphetamine and heroin and a location for large-scale ketamine production; transnational criminal organizations (TCO’s) use Cambodia as both a transit and destination for illicit drugs; precursor chemicals from mainly China used at domestic clandestine laboratories operated by TCOs for the manufacturing of methamphetamine, ketamine, and other synthetic drugs


NOTE: The information regarding Cambodia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cambodia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cambodia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.