About 70-80 per cent of Vietnamese living in Cambodia have gained the country’s legal recognition that paves the way for them to obtain Cambodian citizenship, a Vietnamese official said.— Photo nhandan.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — About 70-80 per cent of Vietnamese living in Cambodia have gained the country’s legal recognition that paves the way for them to obtain Cambodian citizenship, a Vietnamese official said.
Deputy head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, Lương Thanh Nghị, told Người đưa tin (Reporters) newspaper it is estimated that about 110,000 Vietnamese live in Cambodia, with most residing around Tonle Sap Lake – Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake.
Nghị said that for hundreds of years, the Vietnamese community had lived and developed in Cambodia, making contributions to the country’s socio-economic development.
However, part of the Vietnamese community still had unclear legal status in Cambodia, Nghị said.
“For years, Việt Nam and Cambodia have co-operated to address legal papers for Vietnamese living in Cambodia,” he said.
In September, 2017, Cambodia issued a decision to review and co-operate with the Government of Việt Nam to grant legal papers for Vietnamese living in Cambodia, Nghị said.
The move aimed to stabilise the community, create favourable conditions for Vietnamese to get clear legal status, and make their children eligible for schooling.
Until now, about 70-80 per cent of Vietnamese living in Cambodia have gained the country’s legal recognition, including certificates of permanent residency.
Under Cambodian regulation, people who hold a certificate of permanent residency for seven years can apply for Cambodian citizenship.
Nghị said that Vietnamese living in Cambodia usually faced difficulties and limitations in culture, language and legal understanding. Many families have changed their residency. As a result, when Cambodian authorities called on Vietnamese to register legal papers, Vietnamese did not know or were not aware of the need to obtain legal recognition.
Nghị said that the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs hoped Vietnamese living in Cambodia can learn about the need and Khmer language and have better understanding about Cambodian culture so that they could better integrate into the host country.
He added that Cambodia wanted to move people from the Tonle Sap Lake inland so that they would have better living conditions.
Living on water, Vietnamese, Khmer and Chăm people built stilt houses and floating houses. They earn their livings mostly by fishing. There, life is physically and financially challenging with the ups and downs of the water level. In dry season, Tonlé Sap drains into the Mekong River. In rainy season lasting from May to October, the lake rises 12 metres and swells to about 20,000sq.km – five times its dry season size. — VNS