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Workers in Thailand not under threat: Govt

Workers in Thailand not under threat: Govt

GOVERNMENT officials said Tuesday that unrest and an economic slowdown in Thailand would not impact working conditions for legal migrant labourers there, despite warnings to avoid Bangkok.

Oum Mean, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, said: "We are not so worried about that [Thai unrest].... However, I am not sure about illegal migrants, if they have problems or not."

Koy Kuong, spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the government had encouraged people in need of help in Thailand to come to the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok but that they had not heard of labourers in need of aid, adding that some migrant workers might not seek help from the embassy and would instead likely try to contact family members.

The president of the Cambodian Recruitment Agency (CRA), An Bun Hak, said that Cambodia agreed to send labourers to Thailand in 2003 and had started doing so in 2005.

There are 8,231 legal Cambodian migrants in Thailand, said An Bun Hak, a figure dwarfed by the number of illegal migrants estimated at between 60,000 and 200,000.

Despite government assurances, one migrant recruitment agency in Cambodia said Thailand had become unsafe.

Sok Chanpheakdey, president of Philimore Cambodia Company, said he no longer sends Cambodians to work in Thailand.

"They [migrant workers in Thailand] receive low pay and have poor working conditions," he added.

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