Cambodian migrant workers are vulnerable to abuse

Several studies argue that Cambodian migrant workers, both regular and irregular, face multi-faceted problems at several stages of the migration process. Common problems during recruitment include the excessive extraction of payment for migration, confiscation of passports, and insufficient or false provision of information about work conditions (Lee, 2007; Neone, 2012; UNIAP, 2011). The most common abuses in the workplace include physical assault; forced labour; detention in the receiving country without salary or a reduced salary; unpaid overtime or overwork; deprivation of health care and food; and beating, torture and rape (ADHOC, 2012; Lee, 2007; Naro, 2009).

Many studies point to the lack of an effective regulatory and institutional framework for migration. The current policy and legislative framework for regulating labour migration and management in Cambodia is outdated and contains loopholes that are exploited by opportunistic recruiters and brokers (Lee, 2007). The legal framework in Cambodia is struggling to keep up with the rapid evolution of labour migration trends, leaving thousands of migrant workers without the critical protections that robust monitoring and regulation should provide (TAF, 2011). As such, people who engage in migrant-sending/ facilitating business are increasingly taking advantage of the growing space in which irregular migration can be pursued with little or no risk.

 
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