Why Cambodians migrate to Thailand

Phnom Penh. CARAM Cambodia, USAID and WINROCK International celebrated a forum directed to the private sector at the Cambodiana Hotel on Friday with about 50 participants from government, private sector, NGOs, migrant workers’ representatives and stakeholders. Sam Somuny, the CARAM’s project officer said that the forum was promoted by the official National Employment Agency of the Ministry of Labor and his NGO. The event was also attended by ten workers that were deported from Thailand for illegal employment in that country. 

Tit Sern, 30, a former fisherman from Prey Veng Province, said that when he was working in Thailand he got 280 US dollars per month and, discounting food and lodging, he could get 218 US dollars if he would work full time. He returned to Cambodia because he wants to contribute to his own country with more skillful workforce, a current lack in the country, he suggests. ‘If I didn’t go to Thailand, I could not feed my family,’ said Sern.

Chol Phany, 21, another former illegal migrant in the neighboring country, broke a hand while working for Songlar Company. He said that he wanted to work in Thailand because the Cambodian salary is low and there is a lot unemployment. ‘Thailand has a lot good high salaries and it was the reason why I left Cambodia and I decided to become a migrant. I began to work in 2011, but I was deported in July 2013 by the Thai authorities and I was assisted by CARAM at the Poipet International gate by then,’ he concludes. He was in the hospital attended after he broke his hand, when the police arrested him in that place and asked him 75 US dollars. Phany said also that he would not work in a legal job because the company would request him to do a long training.

Meas Sanet, program manager for CARAM explains that the mission of his organization is to link employers and workers. ‘Workers meet a lot of problems because they don’t know the information about migration laws, he explains. There are two factors that made a person to migrate from a country like Cambodia: the low salaries and the attraction of a most modern society in the country of destination  like Thailand or Malaysia.

Reported by Ben Sockhen (sokheanbs@gmail.com)  for I See Cambodia. 




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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

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