International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Asia-Pacific regional director Sarah Lou Ysmael Arriola on May 3 reaffirmed her commitment to assist Cambodia in protecting the rights of migrant workers and improving governance, employment, human resource and migration system development, according to a labour ministry statement.

Arriola, leading an IOM delegation, made the vow at a meeting with ministry secretary of state Hou Vuthy, the statement noted.

Vuthy approved of the UN agency’s offer to continue building relevant capacities and promote fair recruitment practices among private agencies.

He spoke highly of the IOM’s continued cooperation with the ministry to provide scholarship opportunities for returning migrant workers to study electrical, air-conditioning and refrigeration technologies at a number of local institutes.

This, Vuthy noted, is in step with a plan proposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen to provide short-term training courses for 1.5 million young Cambodians to work domestically.

He was most likely referring to the initiative brought up by the premier earlier this year in which the government would provide free vocational and technical training to about 1.5 million young people from poor and vulnerable households nationwide at state institutions, in addition to a monthly stipend.

Arriola voiced appreciation for the labour ministry’s cooperation with her agency, and emphasised the importance of professional development and improving fairness and justice in recruitment processes under the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) regime.