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Recruitment Companies for Migrant Labor Poorly Regulated, Lawmaker Says

Cambodian migrant workers get off from a Thai truck upon their arrival from Thailand at Cambodia-Thai international border gate in Poipet, Cambodia, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Cambodian laborers continue to be deceived by dishonest recruitment companies, which are poorly regulated, a lawmaker says.

Mu Sochua, a National Assembly legislator for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, told “Hello VOA” such companies should bear responsibility for their workers, not only in Cambodia but also in the destination country.

An increasing number of Cambodians are seeking work abroad, leading to reports of abuse. Labor recruitment companies need more regulation if they are to be beneficial to workers, and they must be responsible for them once they arrive, she said.

Some recruitment companies fail to do this, in breech of Cambodia’s labor law, she said. “The company bears responsibility, from the time the workers come to register…until they board a plane,” she said. “Abroad, the company must have their own representatives recognized by the host country.” And finally, the company is also responsible for helping workers get back home.

When Cambodian laborers run into problems abroad, they should report them to the Cambodian Embassy’s labor official in that country, she added.

The labor law is clear, she said, but the implementation has been poor, despite an estimated 1 million Cambodians now working abroad, legally or not, as near as Thailand and as far away as South Korea.

Some 200 workers were recently deceived by two companies that promised work in Japan but then closed shop. “Did the [Ministry of Labor] inspect them?” Mu Sochua said. “Or did they simply not want to see it?”