Improved recruitment processes for foreign workers and better awareness about link between migration and human trafficking needed

Governments, Workers' and Employers' Organizations from five Mekong countries consider options prior to sub-regional gathering on human trafficking

Press release | PHNOM PENH | 08 May 2006

Phnom Penh – ILO NEWS – Government Ministers, Officials and Representatives of National Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations from five Mekong countries today began a fresh round of discussions here aimed at reducing the vulnerabilities faced by cross-border migrants. The meeting was also convened to consider new and innovative approaches to improve public awareness about the vulnerabilities and exploitation that can occur through ill-prepared migration, such as human trafficking and the labour exploitation of migrants in both source and destination areas.

“Trafficking in children and women is a complex issue and cannot be addressed by one agency and country. But this issue can be solved by joint interventions at regional level, national level, sub national level and local levels as well as joint interventions of the Governments, Workers' and Employers' Organizations, social partners and civil societies,” H.E. Vong Saut, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and the Acting Chairman of the National Sub-committee on Child Labour, Royal Government of Cambodia, told the opening session of a sub-regional advisory committee meeting.

The tri-partite committee is gathering in

“We must raise awareness in society and encourage widely participation from all relevant stakeholders,” Mr. Saut said. “We understand that more work needs to be done, but I am sure that we will get success through full cooperation and good understanding.”

Hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the gathering of the Sub-regional Advisory Committee (SURAC) is expected to make a series of recommendations for improvements to recruitment practices as well as new advocacy initiatives to better inform and protect migrant workers from the labour and sexual exploitation that results from both internal and cross-border trafficking.More than 40 participants are attending the two-day event from Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam.

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 their vulnerabilities at destination and throughout their journey.

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

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