Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Enough jobs’ here, but lure of Thailand abides

‘Enough jobs’ here, but lure of Thailand abides

‘Enough jobs’ here, but lure of Thailand abides

As Thailand today opens another fast-track visa office along the border in the hope of reversing the ongoing exodus of workers, Cambodia continues clamouring to find jobs for the returning migrants.

The Ministry of Labour remained adamant yesterday that there are enough open positions in the Kingdom to employ all the repatriated workers. But the National Employment Agency has so far identified just 37,000 job vacancies potentially suitable for nearly 250,000 returned workers.

The vast majority of the workers streaming in from Thailand, however, have not registered with the agency. Among the 15,000 who have, few listed viable contact information.

“Some want to return back to Thailand,” said Hong Choeun, director of the agency.

Since the government announced a new $49, 53-day process for obtaining legal documentation to work overseas, labourers have flooded the country’s two passport offices in the hope of securing better paid jobs abroad. And though the system has yet to take effect, border officials said yesterday they are already starting to see people trickle back to Thailand.

About 2,600 Cambodians trekked into the neighbouring country via Poipet between Friday and yesterday, according to Sim Sam Arth, chief of the checkpoint’s immigration office. The figure does not include market vendors who work at the border or visitors to the market adjacent to the crossing, but Sam Arth said the estimate represents an increase to the daily average of 200 to 300 crossings.

“We can see that the number keeps increasing gradually from day to day, but it is still not a critical mass of workers yet,” he said, adding that all those who crossed over the weekend had legal documents.

But even though Thailand has also reduced the cost of its worker’s permit to lure labourers to return legally, migration experts warned not everyone will go back so easily.

“Security and safety are the main issues. As long as the Thai junta cannot guarantee their safety, I am not sure how the problem will be solved,” said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai politics expert at Kyoto University.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LAIGNEE BARRON AND BANGKOK POST

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all