News / Asia

Challenges, Opportunities in Cambodian Worker Exodus from Thailand

Cambodian migrants look through grills of a truck as they wait to cross the Thai-Cambodia border at Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaew June 15, 2014
Cambodian migrants look through grills of a truck as they wait to cross the Thai-Cambodia border at Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaew June 15, 2014
Cambodian workers are streaming home from Thailand by the tens of thousands, prompting a situation that observers say will create problems as well as opportunities in their home country.

Reports of a Thai crackdown on illegal workers, as well as rumors of violence, have caused hundreds of Cambodians to cross back over the border every day since shortly after the May 22 coup in Bangkok.  Although the reports are denied by Thai authorities, the stream of workers continues back across the border.

Joe Lowry, a regional spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, told VOA's Khmer service by phone from Bangkok that a major migration of people back to their impoverished villages can raise problems, ranging from employment to housing to medical care.

“I think it will be difficult for their communities to cope with a large number of people coming suddenly because they are coming from some of the less-developed towns and villages. They left because they could not find a job … They will need housing, they will need food, they will need medical care, they will need school and other social services. So it would be difficult for them to be reintegrated,” said Lowry.

But some, such as economist Chan Sophal, say the returning workers could mean a chance for economic development if handled properly.

“The government should speed up their reform to enable a better investment environment for either foreigners or Cambodians and make sure that it’s easy for investors so that they have confidence, because right now we have returning workers who have brought back skills and experiences that can help boost local development,” said Sophal.
 
An estimated 440,000 Cambodians were working in Thailand, many of them illegally, according to government statistics. More than 150,000 people are believed to have returned to Cambodia so far.

Heng Sour, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor, said retaining those who return can be done. He said the government has decided to set up nearly 40 vocational training programs in an effort to keep the returning workers home

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Adam9 from: VN
June 17, 2014 6:28 PM
This is very sad.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid