The Ministry of Information has sent a letter to radio stations ordering them to immediately cease advertisements from recruitment agencies looking to send migrant workers abroad.
The order follows a suggestion sent to the ministry by the Labour Ministry last month.
In it, the Labour Ministry suggested that nefarious recruitment agencies that exploit workers were airing ads for their businesses over the radio.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said in a letter to radio station owners last week that they must stop airing the ads because some are coming from criminal enterprises.
“Those firms are broadcasting without honesty and are using tricks to cheat people,” he said. “They especially cheat workers who hear the advertisements in the provinces and are then approached by brokers to go and work illegally abroad. They then face serious obstacles if they take the job offer.”
Mr Kanharith said that in order to ensure workers’ safety, the stations must cease broadcasting the advertisements, unless the Labour Ministry pre-approves the ad.
The Labour Ministry’s suggestion followed an exodus of illegal migrant workers from Thailand, many of whom crossed into the country without proper documentation with the help of brokers.
Sin Nam Yung, a deputy director of Migrant Workers Coordination in Poipet town, said not as many workers are returning from Thailand as before due to the two countries coming to an agreement to give them more time to gather documents.
“But normally, every day there are truckloads of workers deported by Thai authorities,” he said. “They cross the border illegally with brokers who then often cheat them out of money.”
Sem Van, a mother of a migrant who used to work in Thailand, said that her daughter used an illegal broker to gain access to the country.
“We paid money to the brokers to do passports and some documents for us to work, but when we arrived our passports were fake,” she said.
According to an Interior Ministry report, Thailand deported nearly 90,000 Cambodian migrant workers in the first half of 2017.