Cambodia ranked best for workers in South Korea

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - Cambodia was ranked best among 16 countries that have sent migrant workers to South Korea. 

Cambodia was ranked best among 16 countries that have sent migrant
workers to South Korea. This was revealed in an annual assessment by the
latter’s Human Resource Development Unit (HRD Korea) under the Ministry
of Employment and Labour.

The ranking was announced during the 2019 Employment Permit System
(EPS) conference, which was held in Seoul and attended by
representatives from the 16 countries.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour
expressed strong hope that the ranking will help boost the Kingdom’s
quotas for sending workers to South Korea, which currently stand at some
54,000.

HRD Korea, he said, ranked Cambodia on eight aspects including its
procedures for sending workers on short-term contracts, workers’ living
standards during employment and the low number of illegal migrant
workers.

Citing its assessment, he said Cambodia has the best Korean
language testing centres that offer computerised tests. The number of
Cambodian workers who succeed in life upon their return is also higher
compared to those from other countries.

“While many countries are also sending their workers to Korea,
Cambodia fares better than all of them. It is a factor that should help
the Kingdom receive an increase of quotas for sending workers to that
country,” he said.

The ministry said that after signing a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with South Korea in 2017, Cambodia had sent more than 54,300
workers there. Most of them worked in the industrial sector and receive
average wages of between $1,200 and $1,700 per month.

For this year, the South Korean government has imposed a quota of
4,400 workers. Sour said the new quota was expected to be announced
early next year.

“Although some Cambodian migrant workers worked there illegally and
have been deported to the Kingdom, we are still faring better than the
other countries that also sent workers there,” he said.

Chhoeurn Somphors, a migrant worker in Korea, said working conditions
there was better than in other countries, though some workers still
faced medical problems and were abused by their bosses.

“Generally, if you work for a good boss at a good place, the salary is high and working

conditions are good. But some workers are also exploited by bad employers and forced to work overtime.

“As far as procedures are concerned, before I came to Korea, I had to spend as much as $4,000,” she said without elaborating.

Khun Tharo, the programme coordinator at the Centre for Alliance of
Labour and Human Rights (Central), said there are generally fewer
irregularities in sending migrant workers to South Korea compared to
other countries.

While applauding the ranking, he called on the government to lay out
measures to protect workers and ensure they receive good employment upon
returning to the Kingdom.

“Their vocational skills acquired in South Korea should be recognised
upon their return. They can be assisted to integrate into the job
market in Cambodia.

“This is important because, in the future, we cannot serve as a
worker-sending country or sell manpower anymore. We must develop our
human resources locally and create more jobs,” he said.

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