Governments, Workers' and Employers' Organizations from 5 Mekong countries gather to discuss human trafficking prevention

Government, Workers’ and Employers’ representatives from five countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) gather to review and make further recommendations for improvements in cross-border recruitment practices for migrant workers.

Press release | PHNOM PENH | 03 May 2006

Phnom Penh – ILO NEWS – In a fresh bid to prevent human trafficking, Government, Workers’ and Employers’ representatives from five countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) are scheduled to gather in the Cambodian capital next week to review and make further recommendations for improvements in cross-border recruitment practices for migrant workers.

Hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the gathering of the Sub-regional Advisory Committee (SURAC) to the International Labour Organization’s Mekong Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women will also consider, and make recommendations for, improvements in awareness raising and advocacy initiatives to better protect migrant workers from the labour and sexual exploitation that results from internal and cross-border trafficking.

H.E. Nhep Bunlin, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training, will deliver a keynote address to the delegates at 8:30 AM, Monday 8th May, 2006 at the Phnom Penh Hotel,Nº 53, Monivong Blvd., Sangkat Srash Chok, Khan Daun Penh. A media availability will follow at approximately 9:30 AM.

Migrants, especially teens and young women, are at a heightened risk of trafficking due to the vulnerabilities of crossing international borders, especially without the proper documentation to work in the receiving areas, and with few legal avenues for protection or redress from those who would exploit those vulnerabilities at destination and throughout their journey.

Streamlining, popularizing and disseminating information about legal migration processes and recruitment practices – and advocating for defending human rights of foreign migrant workers – are seen as crucial steps in effectively addressing the inherent link between trafficking and migrant labour. Improved awareness-raising about various cross-border agreements between GMS countries and their legal migration processes is seen as one of several approaches to help reduce the vulnerabilities.

Representatives of Governments, Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations from Cambodia, China’s Yunnan Province, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam will participate in the two-day event at the Phnom Penh Hotel  (8 – 9 May). In total, nearly 50 participants are expected, including senior officials from the ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. It’s anticipated that the recommendations will be useful to the Government officials planning the next steps in the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT) Plan of Action. That meeting takes places, also in

The ILO is working in partnership with Governments, Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations to improve social dialogue with respect to recruitment practices of migrants workers and their access to decent work.  In the GMS, the ILO is committed to eliminating child labour and forced labour and is presently working with, and supported by, the European Union, the UK Government – through its Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Japan and others to reduce the vulnerabilities of migrant workers across the region and ensure that the contributions of their labour benefit both sending and receiving countries alike.

For further information, please contact:

Allan Dow
Communications Officer
ILO Mekong Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women
10th Floor, UN Building, Rajadamnoen Nok Avenue, ,  
Tel: + 66 2 288 2057 Mobile: +66 9 891 5003 
e-mail