Strengthening the multi-stakeholder dialogue between Cambodia and Thailand to improve the implementation of the policies framework for Khmer migrants’ rights. It’s one of the main objectives of the initiative.

The 2nd International Exchange Visit for Dialogue will be held in Siem Reap, from 24th to 26th of April. The initiative is organized by Civil Volunteer Group (GVC) in the framework of the European Union funded projects “Mig-Right: supporting and advocating Cambodian migrants’ rights in Thailand, preventing violations and human trafficking” and “Right-To-Work: promoting and protecting the labour rights of low skilled Cambodian migrant workers”, run by GVC and its partners: the Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW) in Cambodia and the Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation(LPN) in Thailand.

The event includes an International conference (24th and 25th of April at the Hotel Angkor Miracle) entitled: “Cross border cooperation on Labour Migration and Human Trafficking between Cambodia and Thailand: from policies framework to the implementation” and a field visit, on the 26th.

Representatives of the Thai and Cambodian Governments, European Union Delegation, UN Agencies, Civil Society Organizations and private sector will take part to the discussion.

Among others, they will intervene H.E. Mrs. Chou Bun Eng, Secretary of State and Permanent Vice-Chair person of NCCT (National Committee for Counter Trafficking) of Cambodia and Mr. Choosak Apaipakdi, Superintendent of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division, Royal Thai Police of Thailand; Mr. Suwan Duangta, Inspector General of the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour of Thailand and his equivalent at the MoLVT in Cambodia.

A substantial presence of international institutions is guaranteed. In particular the European Union, in the person of Mr. Franck Viault, Minister Counsellor – Head of Cooperation, and Ms. Camilla Lombard, First Secretary – Deputy Head of Cooperation from the EU Delegation to Cambodia, and the UN Agencies in charge to fighting human trafficking, and promoting labour rights represented by Mr. Saravuth Tha, for UN-ACT Cambodia. Their contributions to the discussion will enlarge the international perspective, linking the policies and practices to the commitments undertaken by the two Countries in accordance with the international Conventions and agreements ratified. Furthermore, Mr. Tith Lim, from UN-Women Cambodia will contribute to analyse the phenomena for a gender point of view, considering Cambodian migrant women are the first target for traffickers and unscrupulous employers.

H. E. Mrs. You Sophear, Deputy Provincial Governor and Deputy Chairperson of PCCT Siem Reap will welcome the participants to the International conference by introducing the situation on Cambodian migration flow from the perspective of one of the most relevant territory of origin. Migrants and community representatives reached by the GVC and Partners’ projects will give evidence of their stories, making their voice heard. Bringing victims and potential ones closer to policy makers and human rights defenders has the aim to stimulate the action.

Fostering the cooperation between Cambodian and Thai Institutions is essential, since more than 1,2 million of Khmer are working overseas, according to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) of Cambodia in its announcement of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Labor and Vocational Training for 2019-2023. Thailand remains the main destination country for over 92% of Cambodian migrants: 73% of them reach the country through irregular channels, it is estimated by ILO-IOM[1]. Consequently, in Thailand Khmer migrant workers are particularly vulnerable. Despite the efforts made by both of Governments, women, men and an increasing number of youths are still subjected to abuses and exploitation. In the most dramatically cases, they are victims of human trafficking.

During the international conference, on 24th and 25th of April, the Angkor Miracle Hotel, will welcome a selection of pictures taken by the photographer George Nickels in the framework of his job “Human cost”. Nickels’s photographs were shot during several activities carried out by GVC in rural area of North West provinces of Cambodia, where Nickels met returned migrants and their families.

Finally, a field visit of Thai and Cambodian authorities in Ta Ream Village, Chikreng district (Siem Reap Province) will conclude the International Exchange Visit for Dialogue programme. Ta Ream village is known for its high amount of migrant workers to Thailand. It was selected by GVC to the establishment of one of the 90 Self Help-Groups. SHGs for safe migration created since the 2013 thanks to the support of EU and other donors, with the aim to prevent abuses and strengthen a community response to victims of trafficking and exploitation. The field visit will be a further occasion for the Institutions to get in contact with the challenges faced by potential and returned migrant workers and the left behind people.

It will be possible to follow the conference on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) through the hashtag #MIGRIGHT and #RIGHT2WORK.


[1] Risks and rewards: Outcomes of labour migration in South-East Asia, ILO-IOM, 2017