The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chuncheon, the capital of South Korea’s Gangwon province, to provide opportunities for Cambodians wishing to be employed as seasonal workers there. 

Labour minister Heng Sour and Chuncheon governor Yook Dong-han signed the document at the ministry on December 27. 

During the ceremony, Sour expressed his gratitude to Yook for accepting Cambodian workers in his province. 

In addition to the seasonal recruitment of workers, Sour urged the governor to consider encouraging local factories to accept Cambodian skilled workers (E7) as well. 

Yook thanked Sour for the trustworthy cooperation, noting the ministry’s extensive experience in sending workers to Korea under the employment permit system (EPS), including the signing of an MoU on the sending of seasonal workers with several cities and districts of Korea.

The ministry stated that all workers sent to work abroad, especially in Korea, must go through the authority to ensure the efficiency and protection of their rights. 

Sour recently said that the government has put in place a series of support mechanisms to respond to the growth as well as the challenges facing workers working abroad.

He noted that the government has sent labour attaches to Cambodian embassies in countries where its citizens are working. 

“Currently, we have labour attaches in Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. Recently, Prime Minister Hun Manet has also proposed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the labour ministry to further examine expanding the number of … attaches in countries with significant numbers of our migrant workers,” he said. 

He added that in addition to the envoys, the government and the labour ministry have worked with civil society organisations in host countries or with Cambodian private partners to establish support centres or provide additional counselling for the attaches to ensure that workers abroad can access information, receive protection and feel supported.

According to a report by the ministry, as of May this year, more than 1.3 million of the Kingdom’s workers are employed abroad, including 1.2 million in Thailand, 49,000 in Korea, 22,000 in Malaysia and 19,000 in Japan. 

The workers receive various benefits under the laws of each country, including wages and social security, and send about $2.7 billion in remittance back to the country each year, as per the ministry.