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Foreign ministry calls on South Korea to take on more Cambodian migrant workers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhon (left) during a bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Busan. Photo supplied

Foreign ministry calls on South Korea to take on more Cambodian migrant workers

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn on Monday requested the government of the Republic of Korea to receive more Cambodian migrant workers.

The request was made at a bilateral meeting with South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha during the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan.

Along with the request, the ministry announced on Facebook on Tuesday that both parties had signed documents on economic, trade and cultural relations, as well as demining aid in Cambodia.

Sokhonn also thanked Korea for providing opportunities to Cambodian migrant workers and boosting quotas to receive them.

He expects that the meeting would further improve relations between the two countries.

“Cambodian workers who come to work in the Republic of Korea not only receive high income to support their families but also gain competitive skills that they can apply once they return to Cambodia,” Sokhonn said.

Speaking about the Kingdom’s migrant workers, Kang said: “The Republic of Korea has excellent working conditions and has high support for the rights and wellbeing of the workers.

“Cambodian migrant workers who had been working in South Korea have contributed to the economic development of our country,” she said.

Although Kang had acknowledged the contributions of Cambodian migrant workers, she has yet to reply to Sokhonn’s request.

The ministry’s spokesman Koy Kuong could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour told The Post on Tuesday that Prime Minister Hun Sen aims to increase the number of migrant workers to South Korea.

“We are grateful to Korea for hearing the request of Samdech Techo [Hun Sen]. The working conditions in South Korea are good. The work encourages highly technical skills and knowledge,” he said.

As of October, there had been 55,000 Cambodians working in South Korea, generating more than $500 million a year in remittances, Heng Sour said.

In September, Cambodia had a higher number of migrant workers in South Korea compared to 15 other countries. This encouraged the government to keep sending about 6,000 migrant workers a year.

The executive director of the Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (Central) Moeun Tola told The Post previously that as well as sending a large number of migrant workers abroad, the Kingdom also needs to create more jobs to encourage workers to remain in Cambodia.

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