Khmer workers abroad aren’t slaves

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Khmer workers in Thailand, lacking proper legal documents, were carted back to Cambodia in 2018. KT/ Mai Vireak

The spokesman of the Royal Government on Thursday, May 9, stated that Cambodian labourers abroad are not in a “slave-status situation,” as was previously often the case as some developed countries trafficked people to fill their labour shortage. Now emigrant workers abroad enjoy good working conditions and experience.

“In the context of the global free market economy, every Khmer citizen deserves to obtain the employment they want, both locally and abroad, in accordance with the provisions and the international labour codes.”

The government stated that it has been strengthening cooperation with many friendly countries to better the legal processes, and technical and other conditions for Cambodian workers.

“Apart from receiving opportunities and work experience with a good income, they also experience positive working culture and character in the developed countries. Those labourers will bring home … knowledge of working cultures that will play an important part in developing the country, leading to a new phase of Cambodia becoming a middle-income country by 2030 and high income one by 2050.”

The Cambodian labour force has graduated from purely unskilled to professional labour, making them more competitive in the labour market.

The government spokesman explained that Cambodian emigrant workers benefit from the legal instruments of the International Organisation for Migration, the International Labour Organisation , the World Trade Organisation , i.a.

The government does its part to protect more than 1.2 million labourers working outside the country through Memoranda of Understanding between Cambodia and other governments.

Minister of Labour, Ith Samheng, considers those Cambodian labourers “national heroes.”  They send over $ 2.3 billion to their homeland every year, thus improving their families’ living conditions back home where they have peace, stability, and a happy life.

These remittances also contribute to the government’s development and help maintain economic growth – the World Bank estimate 7.5 percent

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