Labour market policies and migration

Cambodia's growing international migration - mainly to Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea through both formal and informal channels (Chapter 2) - indicates that the increase in the number of domestic jobs is not keeping pace with demand. Furthermore, wages at home are not comparable to those offered in the receiving countries. Both these issues have been acknowledged by the government and responsible ministries and measures have been put in place to increase job growth so as to keep pace with new entrants and to improve working conditions.

IPPMD data confirm that the search for jobs is the main driver of migration. Nearly two-thirds of current emigrants reported that they left the country to take or search for jobs abroad. About 30% of them migrated to help members of their household. Policy instruments that improve the domestic labour market may therefore reduce the incentive to migrate. Such policies can seek to enhance labour market efficiency through government employment agencies, improve the skills set of labour supply through vocational training programmes, and expand labour demand by increasing public employment programmes. To what extent are these policies present in Cambodia, and are they having an influence on migration?

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