Interior Minister Sar Kheng has reiterated his call for the public not to fall for misleading advertisement by unscrupulous brokers who take advantage of migrant workers and urged people to report them.
During a speech marking the achievements of a pagoda in Prey Veng province on Saturday, Mr Kheng called on people to stop believing such brokers and end up being smuggled into neighbouring countries to work illegally.
He said people must be aware of such misleading advertisement and cooperate with the authorities at all levels to have the brokers arrested.
“Please report to the authorities when you know that brokers are attempting to convince you to go and work overseas,” Mr Kheng said. “Ask the brokers for their names and where they come from and also to provide you with documents for you to verify with the authorities.”
He noted that by doing so, people would not be easily cheated and the relevant authorities would be able to crack down on offenders on time.
“The consequences of being cheated to work illegally in other countries are that migrant workers will be exposed to drug use, forced labour, human trafficking and violence,” Mr Kheng said.
De The Hoya, a programme officer with labour rights group Central, yesterday echoed Mr Kheng’s concerns, adding that people living in rural areas are the most vulnerable groups that could be easily cheated by brokers.
“Some people mistakenly believe that brokers are helping them to find overseas work to improve their livelihoods because they are not aware of the correct procedures for becoming migrant workers,” he noted. “Therefore a proper mechanism is needed to educate them.”
Mr The Hoya said the government must completely crackdown on people smugglers and educate people that they must seek consultation about working abroad legally to avoid being exploited.
“The government should establish offices at commune levels to offer closer public service to people who wish to become migrant workers so that they will not be cheated,” he added.
During a meeting with Mr Kheng on Thursday, EU Ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno raised concerns regarding Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand’s fisheries sector.
Ms Moreno noted that some Cambodian migrants face human trafficking if there are insufficient documentation and appropriate assistance, adding that the EU is looking forward to helping to improve the wellbeing of migrant workers, which is a part of social and economic development.
Mr Kheng at that time said the government is determined to continue making progress although the reform has not been easy and has had many difficulties.
Pok Nady, deputy provincial governor for Banteay Meanchey, recently said that Thailand has so far this year deported nearly 10,000 undocumented migrant workers through Poipet city.