About 30 to 40 percent of about one million Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand are still undocumented, an Interior Ministry official said yesterday.
Speaking during the general department of identification’s annual meeting, secretary of state Prum Sokha said the government would continue to help undocumented workers obtain proper documentation.
“When I met our workers in Thailand, I just told them the government is behind all of them, whether they have documents or are undocumented,” he said.
According a general department of identification report, officials made 9,751,934 Cambodian identity cards from 2014 to 2017 while providing 273,602 living books and 174,442 family books.
The report added that 1,082,916 passports and 397,838 travelling letters for labourers had also been created during that time.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng said there were now only three places for processing passports, one in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town and two in Phnom Penh.
The capital centres are located at the general department of identification and in Stung Meanchey district.
“Government policy does not charge labourers for passports,” he said.
Mr Kheng, who attended the annual meeting, asked the general department of identification to cooperate with provincial governors to monitor the registering of civil status documents at the local level, to prevent documents from being issued improperly.
“If they are found out, police officials that continue to issue civil status documents improperly will be fined by the law,” he said.
Mr Kheng added the government planned to expand the number of passport processing centres to include border provinces such as Battambang, Koh Kong and Pailin.
The government last year sent 360 officials to Thailand to implement a 100-day campaign to give illegal migrant workers proper documents. They issued legal documents to thousands of workers from September 15 to December 12, ahead of new Thai labour laws due to be enacted this year.