Category Archives: Migration policy in Cambodia

Cambodia to grant 200,000 copies of travel documents to Cambodian migrant workers

The Cambodian government will grant 200,000 copies of travel documents to Cambodian migrant workers.

Employment Department Director General Arak Phrommanee said that most of the registered Cambodian workers have not received travel documents which could be used in lieu of a passport.

He discussed with Seng Sakda, the director general of the Cambodian Department of Labor and Heng Zur, the director general of the Cambodian Department of Finance and was advised that Cambodian government officials will visit Thailand and grant 200,000 copies of travel documents to Cambodian migrant workers.

The Cambodian officials suggested that the Thai Department of Employment collect the names of Cambodian migrant workers and check the receipts of the fee for the Thai documentation before submitting it to them. The copies of the travel documents are expected to be delivered in September.

By: National News Bureau of Thailand

Published on: 9 August 2016

Philippines and Cambodia to Protect Migrant Rights

In order to promote and protect the rights of migrants and migrant workers, Cambodia and the Philippines held their first bilateral round table meeting over migration earlier this week.
According to a joint statement released after the meeting and obtained by Khmer Times yesterday, migrants and migrant workers play an important role in the economic growth and development of both countries. The assurance and protection of migrant rights with legally-binding international and regional legislation will only strengthen the economies of Cambodia and the Philippines, it said.
The joint statement said part of the assistance to migrants must come from in-country consulates.
“As countries of origin, both sides shall promote mutual support and cooperation between their respective diplomatic and consular missions abroad and between the line ministries in charge of migrants and migrant workers temporarily or permanently residing abroad, including through capacity-building cooperation, regular consultation and exchange of views and best practices in addressing challenges encountered in relation to protection and promotion of migrants and migrant workers’ rights and welfare,” the statement said.
Both sides reaffirmed their commitments to those migrants most at risk of mistreatment, especially women and children suffering at the hands of human traffickers. The countries vowed to seek third-party or third-country help in the event they alone are unable to protect a worker’s rights.
Labor Ministry secretary of state Soeung Sarsochenda said that although the Cambodian government does not consider relying on migrant labor as the only path to long term economic-social development, the government has recognized that supporting migrant workers helps in the overall development of the Kingdom’s families and communities and also reduces country-wide poverty rates.
“Relating to labor migration, the government has been making efforts to educate and encourage workers who want to migrate to work abroad, to choose an appropriate means to do so in order to cut down the risks of human trafficking,” Ms. Sarsochenda said.
She added that the efforts to protect workers on the part of the country sending them was vital, but requires cooperation from the country receiving the workers to guarantee full protection.
“The Cambodian government welcomes and supports the initiative of the government of the Philippines to have a joint declaration to protect foreigners and migrated workers,” Ms. Sarsochenda added.
Jesus Yabes, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, said during the roundtable with Cambodia that the Philippines has been organizing four important processes in order to control migration, including the institution of an integration program for incoming migrants.
There are more than 620,000 Cambodians now working overseas.

By: Mom Kunthear, Khmer Times

Published on: 5 May 2016

Government Halts Migration to Thailand for Four Months

The Cambodian government has agreed to a request from the Thai Labor Ministry to temporarily block migrant workers from traveling to Thailand for the next four months as it conducts a census into migrants in the country, according to a statement released on Thursday.

Cambodia’s Labor Ministry said it had agreed to stop issuing passports, work permits and travel documents to anyone who plans to find work across the border from April 1 until July 29, according to the statement dated Wednesday.

Contacted on Thursday, Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said Cambodian migrant workers already in Thailand would also have to request a permission letter from the Thai Labor Ministry in order to leave the country during the census, and would only be able to do so under exceptional circumstances.

Mr. Sour added that workers would not be able to cross the border with a “pink card,” which allows them to work in Thailand as they wait for passports and visas.

“They will find it difficult to leave Thailand because they can’t use a pink card so they have to go to labor officials in Thailand to be issued a permission letter,” Mr. Sour said.

Moeun Tola, who heads the labor rights group Central, said the suspension would not stem the flow of Cambodians to Thailand. Desperate for decent paying jobs, many migrants have already chosen to cross the border illegally in order to avoid red tape and administrative costs.

“I think Thai business mostly depends on migrant workers. Even though the Thai government issued that policy, but I’m sure that Thai businesses will not be happy with that policy because they depend on a lot of the migrants workers—not only Cambodia, but Myanmar, Laos. It is impossible to stop migrant workers,” Mr. Tola said.

“To go to Thailand by the legal procedure, it [takes] too long, and also people have to spend a lot of money in terms of recruitment fees or document and so on,” he added. “People choose to just migrate illegally…. People will keep going, keep going.”

By: The Cambodia Daily

Published on: 22 April 2016

Cambodian migrants returnees statistics 2015 (through Poipet – Klongleuk International border).

Number of Cambodian migrants returnees through government-to-government repatriation 2015 (Poipet – Klongleuk International border).










       4,325        2,661        1,358           178           128                  104


       4,175        2,457        1,350           220           148                  102


       4,835        3,111        1,437           180           107                  108


       6,538        3,995        2,084           275           184                  168


       3,664        1,936        1,161           355           212                    93


       3,360        1,827        1,090           313           130                    87


       5,259        2,813        1,825           389           232                  114


       7,267        3,861        2,594           551           261                  153


       6,610        3,643        2,229           523           215                  140


       4,417        2,427        1,424           395           171                    96


       4,168        2,294        1,308           351           215                    87


       4,703        2,704        1,436           289           274                  106
     59,321      33,729      19,296        4,019        2,277              1,358
 PDF [80 KB]

Source: Poipet Transit Center (PTC), 31 December 2015, PTC Director

Poipet Transit Center (PTC) is a reception center of Ministry of Social Affairs which has been establishing since 2003 following a 2003 bilateral agreement between Cambodia and Thailand to combat human trafficking. This is the only official Transit Center for Cambodian migrant returnees through government-to-government repatriation.

In addition, the Transit Center is also deploying their mobile team staff in-charge at reception center to host Cambodian migrant returnees through deportation as well. The role of PTC’s mobile team staff at reception center is to conduct quick screening to identify victims of trafficking and labor exploitation as well as children in special needs among deportees in order to refer to NGO partners, especially CWCC, for services provision.

Currently, PTC is partly supported by CWCC. CWCC supports PTC to cover all expenses of food and hygienic materials to migrant returnees and their family members during their stay at PTC. CWCC is also supporting salary for one PTC staff who is in-charge at reception center to host Cambodian deportees from Thailand.

Every year, PTC refers at least 30 victims of trafficking, labor exploitation and child migrants in special needs to CWCC for services including medical care, shelter, legal aid, psycho-social support, and reintegration (including livelihood) and follow up visit.

Coup no obstacle to Hun Sen trade visit

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Thailand this week reaffirms brightening relations between the two countries after the Cambodian premier sent a delegation to extend his goodwill to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in July last year.
The Cambodian delegation, led by Defence Minister Tea Banh, included Hun Sen’s eldest son, Lt Gen Hun Manet. It will be in Thailand Friday and Saturday.
It is not the first time since the coup that Hun Sen has journeyed to Thailand, as he made an appearance at the 5th Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) conference held in Thailand last year.
But this time is especially meaningful as the visit comes during the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries, and mutual issues will be on the table, according to the Thai Foreign Ministry.
Key ministers accompanying Hun Sen are Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Council of Ministers Sok An and Defence Minister Tea Banh. All three are also deputy prime ministers.
The two-day visit, scheduled on Friday and Saturday, will allow the delegation to jointly chair the 2nd Joint Cabinet Retreat (JCR) with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
A number of issues will be discussed, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee. The first cabinet retreat was held in 2003 during the government of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
On the agenda for the meeting are border development, agricultural products, the promotion of trade and investment, expansion of connectivity and other regional issues. They are in addition to a business forum, in which Hun Sen will bring Cambodian business leaders to meet their Thai counterparts. An agreement on cooperation between the Thai-Cambodian business councils will also be signed.
Akkaraphong Khamkhun, a professor of foreign affairs at Pridi Banomyong International College, Thammasat  University, said the visit by Hun Sen and his cabinet members is not unexpected.
“It is business as usual and the Cambodian side may have concluded Thailand will not change government in the near future,” he said, adding the recent trip to Cambodia of Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon might have paved the way for some agreements, including on energy.
Gen Prawit in October led the delegation, which included Energy Minister Gen Anantaporn Kanjanarat, to Cambodia.
But Gen Prawit has insisted no agreement was made on the fate of energy resources in the Gulf of Thailand. When asked to compare Cambodian relations under the current government with those under ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Mr Akkaraphong siad Cambodia’s administration was personally close to the admnistration led by Ms Yingluck’s government, but the coup had not affected diplomatic realtions.
The government disclosed Monday that four pacts will be signed during the Cambodian premier’s visit.
These include the Joint Declaration of the 2nd JCR and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Development of the Cross Border Control Facilities, such as the border bridge and access roads at Ban Nong Ian in Aranyaprathet District of Sa Kaeo and Stung Bot in Banteay Meanchey Province in Cambodia.
Another MoU will be signed on Labour Cooperation, which will promote skills development for labour, as well as an agreement on the Employment of Workers, which aims to prevent illegal employment and human trafickking.
The Cambodian ambassador to Thailand, Eat Sophea, told the Bangkok Post Monday this is the first official visit after the GMS summit.
“The four agreements to be signed during the prime minister’s visit will make better connectivity between the two countries as another checkpoint in Sa Kaeo will be open, mostly for tourists and the public,” said Eat Sophea. The JCR is convened by more than 20 ministers and 20 senior officials in Hun Sen’s delegation.
“Details on special economic zones near the new border checkpoint and the operational date of the new checkpoint in 2018 will be discussed,” she said.

By: Chananthorn Kamjan & Achara Ashayagachat, Bangkok Post
Published on: 15 December 201515
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