‘One-stop office’ to help migrants at border

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Following an exodus of more than 200,000 Cambodian workers from Thailand in the past two weeks, the junta has urged Cambodia to expedite planned border offices that will facilitate legal labour migration.

Responding to that request, Cambodia announced yesterday that the first “one-stop service office” would open at BanteayMeanchey’sPoipet international checkpoint in July.

The office will assist migrant workers with the large amount of paperwork required by both countries, ideally streamlining the process and enticing workers to go abroad solely through legal channels.

“At first it will be just a trial.… Our purpose will be to help illegal migrant workers become legal workers,” Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training director-general SengSakada said at a labour migration workshop in the capital yesterday.

He added that if the Poipet office is successful, additional offices will open in Koh Kong and Pailin.

“The important thing is not to prevent migration but to create a national policy and find appropriate measures to protect labourers,” Sakada said.

Countless Cambodians travel to Thailand every year for seasonal work, usually without the proper legal documents. An estimated 400,000 to 500,000 Cambodians of both legal and undocumented status contribute to Thailand’s unskilled workforce.