[Cambodian] Migrant worker numbers rise

There were about 1.8 million documented and undocumented migrant workers working overseas in the first six months of this year, an increase of nearly 20,000 when compared to the same period last year, according to the National Committee for Counter Trafficking.

The NCCT noted in a report issued last week that 1,836,666 workers were working abroad during the first six months of the year, an increase of 19,853 when compared to the same period last year.

It said that 1,039,797 were documented workers, while 796,869 lacked legal documents. The migrants were working in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

It noted that recruitment agencies tasked with sending workers abroad by the Labour Ministry sent 28,992 workers abroad during the time frame, including 964 to Japan, 138 to Singapore, 41 to Hong Kong, three to Saudi Arabia, 3,328 to South Korea and 25,518 to Thailand.

However, Chou Bun Eng, vice chair of the NCCT, said many migrant workers still risk working illegally in Thailand.Ms Bun Eng said those workers are vulnerable and face labour exploitation, detention and deportation.

She said many undocumented workers were cheated by brokers who demanded money in exchange for high-paying jobs and an illegal path into Thailand.

“The government urges employment agencies to follow our policy,” Ms Bun Eng said. “The government continues to examine workers who were deported by explaining to them that migrating illegally is risky.”

Sin Nam Yong, deputy director of the coordination committee for worker reception from Thailand via Poipet, said about 100 Cambodian workers were deported by Thai authorities daily in the past.

However, since the government began working with Thai authorities to provide legality to migrant workers, the number has dwindled.

“Since the government provided legality to migrant workers, there are ten to 20 workers who are deported daily by Thai authorities,” Ms Nam Yong said. “Before, there were at least 100 workers deported per day.”

In the first six months of the year, the Foreign Ministry said 247 workers were repatriated from Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Seoung Sen Karona, a monitor with rights group Adhoc, said workers go abroad after failing to find decent work at home.

“If working here is good enough for them, they might not migrate to work abroad, away from their homes, families and relatives,” Mr Sen Karona said, noting that only a handful of migrant workers are lucky to be employed with good conditions.

“Some migrant workers are lucky to work abroad with no problems, but some workers still face labour exploitation,” he added. “Adhoc still gets complaints from victims abroad.”

Source: Khmer Times

Written by Sen David

Link: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50547009/migrant-worker-numbers-rise/

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