China Nationalist Party lawmakers in Taiwan have asked their government to do more to assist citizens trapped in scam operations in Cambodia, as rising reports of trafficking and forced labor push local legislators and governments to act across the region.
The lawmakers had visited Cambodia on August 15, according to the Taipei Times, with the visit pegged as a meeting with Taiwanese investors in Cambodia, as Taiwan does not have diplomatic ties with Cambodia.
Prior to the visit, Cheng Cheng-chien, a legislator with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said his office had received multiple requests for rescues — all of the people had been lured with lucrative jobs in Cambodia and then trapped in scam operations.
They even pointed to a Taiwanese Youtube personality called Bump who has advocated for the repatriation of people stuck at scam operations, and also assisted in rescues.
In early August, a government taskforce was created to track and repatriate people trafficked and forced to work in Cambodia, Myanmar and other countries. The National Police Agency also estimated 2,000 Taiwanese were stuck in Cambodia, but the number could be as high as 5,000.
Last week, Taiwan’s National Communication Commission asked Meta, the parent company for Facebook, to take down fraudulent job ads targeting Taiwanese workers with work overseas.
“We have expressed our concerns with Meta, which pledged to handle false advertisements with their existing mechanism,” said Huang Wen-che, director of the NCC’s department of broadcasting and content affairs.
Huang added that Taiwanese police should notify Facebook about keywords that appear regularly in scam schemes.
The move came after a local lawmaker accused the NCC of having the power to make Facebook take down the job ads but was failing to do so.
China’s Embassy in Cambodia said last week that Taiwanese citizens in Cambodia should report issues to the embassy. Taiwan does not have an embassy in Cambodia because the government considers Taiwan to be a part of China.