Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has called on Cambodia’s ambassadors to lift their professionalism and pay greater attention to the needs of workers abroad.
In a meeting in Phnom Penh on Saturday with all 26 ambassadors and representatives from the eight other consular offices abroad, Namhong told the crowd they should be closely monitoring the Facebook pages of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Foreign Ministry, as well as international media, to ensure they are on top of the latest developments in their respective posts.
“Some of our ambassadors abroad seem to work for only saving money, which is easy because they have a cook, a driver and a good place to stay; but they work less,” he said.
In Thailand, where it’s estimated that at least 100,000 Cambodian workers have migrated, Namhong said the embassy must work with Thai authorities to ensure work permits are correctly allocated and workers can access legal services when needed.
He also called on the embassy in China to work with authorities there to stem cases of human trafficking. In Malaysia, he said, the ambassador should ensure Cambodian maids are supported.
Moeun Tola, of the rights group Central, said yesterday that he had received many complaints from workers abroad about the poor services and lack of support at Cambodia’s embassies.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs too must think about the amount of staff at the embassy and the budget to ensure the quality of the work,” he said.