Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap holds labour migration meet

Siem Reap holds labour migration meet

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian migrant workers cross the border from Thailand at Doung International Checkpoint in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district in 2016. Heng Chivoan

Siem Reap holds labour migration meet

Representatives from the Cambodian and Thai governments, the EU, the UN, civil society organisations and the private sector are participating in the ongoing “2nd International Exchange Visit for Dialogue” concerning labour migration and human trafficking between the two countries.

The forum, being held in Siem Reap from Wednesday to Friday, aims to strengthen the multi-stakeholder dialogue between the two countries to improve the implementation of the policy framework for Cambodian migrants’ rights.

The event includes a two-day international conference at the Hotel Angkor Miracle, entitled “Cross-Border Cooperation on Labour Migration and Human Trafficking between Cambodia and Thailand: From policy framework to the implementation”, and a field visit on Friday.

The initiative – which aims to prevent violations and human trafficking, and promote and protect the labour rights of low skilled Cambodian migrant workers – is organised by Civil Volunteer Group (GVC) along with its partners Legal Support for Children and Women in Cambodia and the Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation in Thailand.

They say fostering cooperation between Cambodian and Thai institutions is essential since, according to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, more than 1.2 million Cambodians are working overseas.

It is estimated by the International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation for Migration that Thailand remains the main destination country for over 92 per cent of Cambodian migrants, 73 per cent of whom reach the country though irregular channels.

Consequently, Cambodian migrant workers are particularly vulnerable in Thailand and, despite efforts made by both governments, women, men and an increasing number of youths are still subject to abuse and exploitation. In the most serious cases, they are victims of human trafficking.

Chou Bun Eng, the Ministry of Interior’s secretary of state and permanent vice-chairperson of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking – who is attending the conference – told The Post on Wednesday that a solution would not be found immediately, but relevant parties are meeting to improve the situation.

“They are meeting to help each other. No party alone can resolve the issues. Migrant workers themselves are also coming to speak about their experiences in Thailand and we are listening to them,” she said.

Deputy provincial governor You Sophea, also present at the meeting, told The Post that the delegates will engage in bilateral cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand and urge the Thai parties to respect migrant workers’ rights by honouring the established legal framework.

“Our country is a migrant worker sender country and they [Thailand] are a migrant worker receiving country.

“We are doing whatever we can to make them respect migrant workers’ and citizens’ rights by complying with existing policies and following treaties and labour law,” she said.

Moeun Tola, Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights executive director, said on Thursday that the situation of migrant workers in Thailand is better in some places – such as factories exporting pork, chicken and electronic products to Europe – but several issues remain, including poor working conditions, as well as withholding salaries and passports.

MOST VIEWED

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,

  • No word on state of emergency

    The National Assembly (NA) said it will postpone all unnecessary meetings in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it did not say when or how it will debate the “state of emergency”

  • State of emergency draft law set for NA

    A draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is set for a debate at the National Assembly (NA) after going through the Council of Ministers’ Standing Committee meeting led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Hun Sen, ministers, officials donate salaries in virus fight

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior government officials have decided to donate their salaries to the National Committee for Combating Covid-19 in support of the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. Hun Sen announced in an April 1 letter that because the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia

  • Tourists can now prolong their stay

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the Kingdom after January 1 will be allowed to prolong their stay until they are able to return home. The decision comes as Cambodia and most countries take measures to