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PM wants Cambodian workers in Thailand to come back home

Hun Sen told the Council of Ministers last week the government will provide good jobs and higher wages to strengthen job sector

PRIME Minister Hun Sen appealed to Cambodian workers in Thailand last week to return home, saying that labour markets are eager for workers and that wages have gone up significantly. 

"Wages in Cambodia are currently higher than in Thailand," Hun Sen said during the opening of the first Council of Ministers meeting last week. "If they work [here], they will not be looked down on by [Thai] employers or have to work illegally."

"The government will improve working conditions in Cambodia and strengthen labour laws and stability as well as guarantee investment opportunities," he said.

Some 18,300 Cambodians work in Thailand, and between 100 and 150 workers enter Thailand daily for short-term employment, according to the Ministry of Labour. Oum Mean, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labor, said most workers who enter Thailand illegally are being cheated by employment recruiters and are taking unnecessary risks by not having proper work documents.

"We observed that some workers were treated badly by employers," Oum Mean said.

"The ministry is discussing ways to keep these workers at home by finding proper jobs for them."

Cambodian migrant workers are concentrated in the construction, agricultural and fisheries sectors, according to the Chiang Mai-based Migrant Assistance Project, Human rights groups have criticised the Thai government for failing to offer social services to migrants and turning a blind eye to abysmal working conditions.

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