Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Migrant workers’ greater HIV risk

Migrant workers’ greater HIV risk

Migrant workers’ greater HIV risk

Cambodian females migrating to Thailand for work are more than three times as likely to contract HIV/AIDS than women working in the Kingdom, a National AIDS Authority survey has revealed.

Kao Try, deputy chairman of the NAA, yesterday opened a five-day workshop in the capital with government officials and NGOs from across the Greater Mekong sub-region to identify weaknesses in existing reproductive health legislation, policies and services for female migrant workers in the region.

Migrant workers, and particularly those escorted to Thailand, Try said, faced a much higher risk of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS because many were channelled into sex industry work where they faced rape, and where contraception and safe sex was not encouraged.

A government survey, conducted in 2011, uncovered that the rate of HIV/AIDS among Cambodian female migrant workers in Thailand was 2.5 per cent, while the rate of females aged 15-49 with the auto-immune disorder in Cambodia dropped to 0.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, 1.3 per cent of Thai females in the same age bracket were infected with HIV/AIDS.

According to a Ministry of Women’s Affairs report on migrant workers, 36,580 Cambodians migrated to Thailand for work over the past four years.

“These women migrate abroad to get a better income, but they have to think of their health. Many of them end up being sexually exploited and raped,” Try said.

Ya Navuth, executive director at Coordination of Action Research on Aids and Mobility, said it was critical for sub-Mekong countries to discuss policy and legislation gaps, “specifically for female migrants’ sexual and reproductive health, and to combat HIV/AIDS”.

Promboon Phanithphakdy, head of the women’s health NGO the Rak Thai Foundation, said that services for migrant workers were “completely lacking”.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,