Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New passport offices opened near Thai border to speed up worker documentation

New passport offices opened near Thai border to speed up worker documentation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People wait to process travel documents at a new passport office in Stung Meanchey on Monday in an image posted to the Ministry of Interior's Facebook page. The government also opened offices in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces. Facebook

New passport offices opened near Thai border to speed up worker documentation

The Cambodian government opened three new passport offices in an effort to speed up the documentation process for migrant workers on Monday.

At a press conference at one of the new offices, in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district, Ministry of Labour official Seng Sakda said the government wanted to reduce the time and expense for processing passports and travel cards.

The other two offices are in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces, near the Thai border.

“The government’s principle is we want as many of our workers to work overseas as possible,” Sakda said, adding that it is the ministry’s role to get migrant workers documented so that they do not cross the border illegally or hire unlicensed brokers.

Dy The Hoya, of labour rights group Central, welcomed the new offices but said the government has to make sure service is efficient and fair.

Migrant workers on the Thai border have reported bad service in the past, including complicated procedures and widespread bribe-taking, according to The Hoya.

“The administrative process must be fair and just for workers, and [officials] must not take more money from the workers,” he said.

Read more: Voices from the border

An estimated 1.2 million Cambodians are living and working abroad, mostly in Thailand.

A recent ILO report on migrant workers in Southeast Asia found that less than 30 percent of Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand migrated through official channels.

Doing so took seven times as long and was five times as expensive as unofficial channels, the report found, yet migrants experienced subsequent problems at nearly the same rates.

Updated: Wednesday 10 January, 8:28am

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol