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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM defends trafficking action

PM defends trafficking action

Prime Minister Hun Sen has lauded the government’s efforts to combat illegal labour trafficking in response to a call from opposition lawmakers for changes to protect the safety of domestic workers abroad.

In  a five-page response letter written earlier this month and given to the Post yesterday, Hun Sen says:  “The Royal Government has always taken care of defending Khmer labourers.”

Hun Sen estimated that the roughly 125,000 labourers that had been sent to work in Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Korea this year were responsible for sending US$180 million in wages back to their families.

The letter is a reaction to an appeal made in October by more than a dozen Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers to take stricter action against illegal labour trafficking. Speaking specifically about Malaysia, Hun Sen said the government was working hard to create a memo of agreement with that country.

“The Royal Government has always tried to reach an agreement with Malaysia, but has not yet had success,” the letter reads.

The Prime Minister also said the government had created an “inspection group” to quickly respond to allegat-ions of illegal labour trafficking, and this group had been responsible for the successful raids on the recruiting firms T&P Co and SKMM Investment Group.

SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said yesterday these measures were not enough to provide adequate safety for workers and their families.

“Their parents still call us, which means the government’s system has not been as effective as we want,” she  said.

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