About a hundred and twenty Indochinese children were bound for France from Thailand on Monday (24 December) under a French programme to give them to foster homes in France.
About a hundred and twenty Indochinese children were bound for France from Thailand on Monday (24 December) under a French programme to give them to foster homes in France. The group included forty two Kampucheans from the refugee camp at Sa Kaeo in Eastern Thailand. They were leaving despite protests by volunteer workers in the camp who said more time was needed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that they were orphans.
SYNOPSIS: The Sa Kaeo camp situated about hundred and ten kilometre kilometres from Bangkok is one of the largest refugee camps in Thailand.
In the past year since Vietnam invaded Kampuchea (Cambodia) thousands of people have made their way to Sa Kaeo. Reports say there are four hundred and fifty orphans now living at a special section in the camp.
The orphans section of the camp is led by Mr Rim Sejong, a Korean now based out of the United States. Rim Sejong is an orphan himself and he leads the children through a daily physical education programme.
Many of these children arrived at Sa Kaeo suffering from malnutrition. However volunteer workers say within a short period the children have returned to a normal healthy condition. At Sa Kaeo the children receive regular meals and uncontaminated water.
Under the French replacement programme children are being placed with families until their families or close relations are found. Foreign volunteer workers protested against the removal of the forty two Kampuchean children. The workers said they were not against the move in principle but were protesting that the children had only been in the camp for two months, insufficient time to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were orphans as French Embassy officials believe. However the French Embassy has said that strict instructions had been given for delaying the departure of any children whose family situation was not sufficiently documented.