Labour Minister Ith Samheng has reminded private recruitment agencies to operate with integrity and strictly adhere to the code of conduct for agencies in order to ensure the safety of workers.
Speaking yesterday at the launch of the code of conduct for Cambodian private recruitment agencies, he said the code is to ensure legal employment migration, protection of workers’ rights and supporting them.
“We now have a code of conduct for private recruitment agencies to implement. Every agency should strictly follow it to protect our workers,” Mr Samheng said.
He said although agents are working to support their families, they still have to think about the rights and protection for workers too.
The introduction of the code of conduct is vital to ensure smooth labour migration and protect workers’ rights and support their livelihoods in line with the national sustainable economic growth goals, Mr Samheng added.
“The code of conduct for recruitment agencies was created with input by the agencies, so they have to comply with it and the ministry will keep monitoring its implementation,” Mr Samheng said. “This code will contribute to strengthening the effectiveness of protection, promotion of labour rights as well as looking after the welfare of workers both locally and abroad.”
Currently, Cambodia sends workers to six countries – Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong – with around 1.2 million migrant workers remitting a total of about $2 billion to Cambodia annually to support their families.
The ILO’s senior representative Anna Engblom said at the launch that the code of conduct would benefit both the sending and destination countries.
She said that countries like Cambodia that send workers, can reduce their poverty level while the destination countries can support economic activities which require migrant workers.
An Bunhak, Manpower Association of Cambodia chairman, yesterday said that the code of conduct will be used as a guideline for association members for recruiting, training, sending and managing Cambodian workers to work abroad.
“I have observed that most recruitment agencies respect and adhere to the law and directives of the Labour Ministry, but some agencies do not follow the ministry’s instructions,” he said.
The code of conduct lays down the basic principles of worker recruitment in line with the national and international labour laws and regulations for all Cambodian private recruitment agencies to implement effectively and responsibly.
It will contribute towards strengthening the effectiveness of protection for workers, promotion of labour rights and ensure the workers’ welfare both inside the country and abroad.
According to a Labour Ministry report, last year, more than 100 private recruitment agencies were licenced by the ministry for recruitment, training, sending and managing workers abroad.