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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement