The interior and labour ministries have launched three new offices to speed up the process of providing passports and labourer cards to migrants hoping to work abroad.
Seng Sakada, director of the Labour Ministry’s department of labour, made the announcement yesterday at one of the new offices in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district.
He said the other two new offices were in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces. All three opened for business yesterday.
“Citizens who want to work abroad can come to these three places for their passports and other documents,” he said. “They do not need to go to the department of identification, but can come here directly with the relevant documents.”
Mr Sakada said this is the first time the Interior Ministry has been able to process the paperwork for workers within three to five days.
“Last year, 34,570 workers received their labourer cards, so that meant about 3,000 to 5,000 workers got cards each month,” Mr Sakada said, noting the cards are valid for five years.
He added that workers must have proof of a contract with an employer abroad in order to receive their passports free of charge.
Mao Chandara, head of the Interior Ministry’s general directorate of identification, said the offices will help battle human trafficking and illegal migration.
“The offices will help our Cambodian workers a lot,” he said.
There are nearly 80 legal recruitment agencies finding jobs for migrant workers in other countries.
A total of 1.2 million Cambodians are currently working abroad in places such as Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.