The year 2020 has started seeing big progress in achieving greater respect for Cambodian migrants’ labour and Human Rights. A new Code of Conduct for private recruitment agencies was launched in the capital Phnom Penh on 30 January by the Cambodian Labour Minister, Ith Sam Heng, in an event attended by around 100 government officials and representatives from private recruitment agencies and NGOs, including WeWorld-GVC’s Cambodian partner Legal Support for Children and Women LSCW.

Supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the initiative is the result of a significant step forward led by the Cambodian government, the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agencies and the Manpower Association of Cambodia.

The code aims to ensure the promotion and protection of workers, introducing beneficial measures such as a transitional zero fee and cost model for recruitment. It is designed as a practical tool containing 12 core principles that will help ensure that private recruitment agencies implement responsible business practices. Ethical behavior from the recruiting companies is key to prevent migrants from falling victims of human trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage.

At the launching event, the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training committed its support to the initiative, stating, according to Khmer Times, that recruiters “have to comply with it (the code) and the ministry will keep monitoring its implementation”. For this purpose, Sam Heng announced the creation of a monitoring system next year.

Learn more about the role played by recruitment agencies here