After a coup in Thailand last month, hundreds of thousands of Cambodian migrants flee the country. In Colombia’s Pacific coast, victims of the country’s ongoing conflict share their stories. And in Kenya, civil society leaders reacts to a militant attacks… and wind up in police cells.
According to the International Organization of Migration, a staggering 225,000 Cambodian migrants have crossed the Thai-Cambodia border in the first two weeks of June.
Videos taken by IOM staff show entire families migrating in trains, trucks, and (above) on foot. The massive exodus has created a humanitarian crisis in Cambodia and fears of economic repercussions in both countries due to the sudden population shift. The exodus is due to fears of a crackdown on immigrant workers after a military junta took over the Thai government in a coup last month. Writes one blogger quoted on Global Voices, “It’s unclear whether or not they have been forcibly removed by the Thai junta or are voluntarily leaving out of fear.”
Last week, human rights defenders and community members in Colombia’s western municipality of Buenaventura gathered to discuss the rights of victims of state violence. For years residents have suffered massacres, forced disappearances, and forced displacement due to the incursion of paramilitaries and drug traffickers. The video below (in Spanish) includes footage of activists denouncing the violence, and testimony from Colombians who have been targeted, many of whom cannot show their face for fear of reprisal for speaking out.
Here’s what we’re watching in the days ahead:
In the wake of a militant attack in Mpeketoni last week, several civil society leaders were arrested for protesting the state’s failure to protect civilians. We are monitoring reports by local media activists for updates.
On Wednesday, 12 men are scheduled to face trial for their involvement in several cases of mass sexual assault at rallies in Tahrir Square this year. The arrests and trial were announced after a viral video drew international attention to the issue. However, many advocates of women’s rights have expressed skepticism that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the newly installed President, is serious about enforcing women’s rights and cracking down on the critical issue of sexual harassment and assault.
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Photo: Video still from Youtube user Iommigration of Cambodian migrant workers fleeing Thailand.