Ministry representatives from Cambodia and Thailand have held a meeting to solve migration issues between the neighbouring countries amid the pandemic.
The meeting was held via a conference call on November 5 between Labour Minister Ith Samheng and Deputy Minister of Labour, Surachai Chaitrakulthong, who was assigned to represent Thailand at the meeting.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Labour after the meeting, both countries agreed to allow Cambodian workers in Thailand to extend contracts which are due to expire for another two years as part of a dual Memorandum of Understanding.
However, it said that after the end of the two-year contract extension, workers will not be able to renew their contracts
The move is designed to allow Cambodian workers in Thailand to stay to avoid the mass movement of people between the two countries amid the pandemic.
“The meeting was held to discuss the movement of Cambodian workers in the bordering provinces,” it said.
The statement said that during the meeting, the Thai side said it was prepared to coordinate with the relevant institutions to help speed up the validation of documents in order for contracts to be extended.
It said that the Cambodian side will request the government to send a technical working group, which will represent the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Interior and the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand, to aid the contract extension process and ensure Cambodian workers attain legal status in Thailand.
“Both sides also discussed the recruitment and sending of Cambodian workers to Thailand during the pandemic. This will be in accordance with the health regulations of both countries. Both countries will work together and provide legal assistance to workers in order to prevent illegal migration,” it added.
According to Thai media, on October 6 Surachai said that the Thai government will cooperate with Cambodia to help solve Cambodian workers issues, especially amid the pandemic.
He also said past cooperation with Cambodia has been positive, especially regarding the protection of Cambodians’ right to work in Thailand.
“I hope everything that the Cambodian and Thai authorities try to do will help drive the economy of both sides while ensuring a good quality of life for workers who come to work in Thailand,” he was quoted as saying.
“This meeting will help strengthen the economy of both sides and aid mutual growth,” said Surachai.