Labour Minister Ith Samheng paid an official visit to Thailand over the past three days, where he urged Cambodians working there to obey local laws and register so as not to be illegal workers.
Mr Samheng spoke to more than 500 Cambodian workers on Wednesday, who are among more than 1,700 Cambodians employed by Sun Food International in Thailand’s Saraburi province.
“Everyone working and living in Thailand has to follow the law of this country in order to avoid being illegal workers, which could see them facing prosecution and conviction,” he said.
Mr Samheng also told workers to take care of their health, try to learn new skills for their future, and to support each other as if part of one family.
“We requested employers to continue accepting Cambodian workers and give them the same benefits as their Thai colleagues,” he said. “The embassy has to pay attention to solve any problems through the law of Thailand for our workers.”
The minister added there was a good relationship between the Cambodian and Thai governments which gave migrant workers the opportunity to work in Thailand safely and legally.
“On December 22, I met with Thai officials and they agreed to delay a deadline for six more months until June this year for our officials to complete registration and issuance of work permits for Cambodian workers in Thailand,” Mr Samheng said.
“So everyone should keep working calmly, and workers who do not have legal documents should apply for them as soon as possible.” Earlier this month, the interior and labour ministries opened three offices to provide travelling documents and Overseas Cambodian Worker Cards in Phnom Penh, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces to speed up the process of providing passports and labourer cards to citizens hoping to work abroad.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Monday that about 30 to 40 percent of about one million Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand are still undocumented.
Based on the committee’s record, nearly 35,000 Cambodian workers were legalised for work permits in Thailand in 2017.
The latest figure available from the Labour Ministry indicates that of 1.5 million Cambodian overseas workers, 1,050,000 are working in Thailand.