Government officials have responded to a request made by the government of the United Arab Emirates for Cambodian workers, an Interior Ministry official said.
Chou Bun Eng, secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, last week in Morocco said she spoke to UAE officials about the prospect of meeting their request.
Ms Bun Eng was in Morocco to attend a forum on “Migration and Development” when she met the UAE officials.
“The United Arab Emirates delegation met with us and said they want Cambodian workers in their country,” she said. “We told them to list the skills they are looking for from our workers.”
Ms Bun Eng noted that the UAE delegation said they needed engineers and medical assistants.
“They asked us to train our human resources and prepare workers to work overseas,” she said. “We will first have an agreement to protect our workers. I have already informed Labour Ministry officials to meet and discuss UAE’s request because the UAE wants to meet during the first semester of next year.”
According to the Emirates News Agency, the UAE is keen to strengthen ties with Rwanda, Nepal and Cambodia by encouraging more workers to seek employment in the Gulf state.
It said Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, held talks with all officials from all three countries. It added that the officials spoke about developing new ways to cooperate in the labour sector.
Earlier this month, two Cambodian recruitment associations signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three associations from Malaysia at the Labour Ministry to ensure the rights and safety of migrant workers in Malaysia after a seven-year ban due to abuse of Cambodian maids by Malaysian employers.
The ban was only lifted in June, but Cambodia has yet to send any migrant workers since.
Cambodian workers in Malaysia earn about $300 to $350 per month. Currently, there are 69 recruitment agencies licensed by the Labour Ministry to select, train, send and manage migrant workers.
Nguy Rith, deputy director of the ministry’s labour department, at the time said Cambodian migrant workers do not have to worry about safety any more.
“All these associations will improve their management for our workers and reduce the number of problems that occur involving our workers,” Mr Rith said. “We think that this is a good mechanism to protect workers. The ministry also has advisers working at the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia tasked with monitoring the well-being of workers. We do not only depend on associations to ensure the safety of workers.”