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Migration protection ‘poor’: official

Migration protection ‘poor’: official

THE head of ASEAN’s task force on migrant workers on Thursday described Cambodia’s implementation of a regional declaration on migration as “very poor”.

Speaking on the second day of a conference on migration held in the capital, Sinapan Samydorai said Cambodia was just one of several ASEAN member states that had made inadequate progress implementing non-binding obligations contained within the ASEAN Declaration on the
Protection and Promotion of Rights of Migrant Workers, which is designed to ensure that basic rights of legal migrant workers are respected.

“The Cambodian experience is not just the migrant workers’ issue, but also all the other [International Labour Organisation] agreements they have signed, the implementation has been very poor, very ineffective,” he said after his presentation.

The ASEAN declaration on migration calls on origin countries such as Cambodia to, among other things, “eliminate recruitment malpractices” and
“ensure access to employment and livelihood opportunities, so that migration occurs out of choice”.

In a briefing paper for his presentation, Samydorai said about 13.5 million migrant workers from ASEAN member countries were scattered across the globe. He said Thursday that ASEAN should adopt a legally binding measure to protect migrant workers, but Bruno Maltoni, a project coordinator at the International Organisation on Migration, said the enforcement of such a declaration across international borders would be
“impossible”.

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