Cambodia continues diplomatic efforts to assist migrant workers

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Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng attends the transferring ceremony of the Colombo Process Presidency organized by Nepal via video conference on April 20. Ministry of Labour

Cambodia will continue to actively participate in the implementation of the Colombo Process to promote the rights and protect the interests of migrant workers during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

"The Colombo Process is a process of regional consultations on the management of occupations, employment and labour forces with overseas employment contracts for sending countries workers in Asia," said Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng.

The mechanism was established in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2003 and aims to provide a forum for sending countries in Asia to share their hands-on experience in managing foreign labour, consulting on issues that migrant workers in sending countries and target countries have faced.

These countries can suggest practical solutions to protect the well-being of migrant workers.

At the transferring ceremony of the Colombo Process Presidency organized by Nepal via video conference on April 20, Sam Heng stated that the mechanism had assisted Cambodia in protecting the interests of migrant workers through the establishment of policy frameworks, regulations and consensus on international conventions.

He added that this mechanism was used in addition to participation in forums both bilateral and multilateral, ASEAN, regional and global frameworks to ensure protection for migrant workers.

According to Sam Heng, migrant workers contribute to Cambodia’s national economic growth by sending more than $2 billion a year home to their families, contributing to the economic development of families, communities and society.

The migrant workers benefitted as well by gaining new knowledge, work experience, technical skills and soft skills, which would provide a foundation for them to build on for the future when they return to Cambodia.

To date, the Colombo Process has a total of 12 member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam – and a number of relevant international organizations have participated as observers.