Safeguarding Safe Labour Migration of Cambodia’s Migrant Workers: An Assessment of Regulation on Private Recruitment Agencies in Cambodia


  • Boravin Tann


migrant workers; undocumented; safe labour migration; private recruitment agencies; sub-decree 190; Cambodia.


This article explores the correlation between statutory regulation on private recruitment agencies and safe labour migration of Cambodia’s migrant workers. Specifically, it assesses key provisions of the 2011 Sub-Decree No. 190 on the Management of the Sending of Cambodian Workers Abroad through Private Recruitment Agencies. This article argues that the implementation of thorough national regulation on private recruitment agencies in Cambodia is essential for the promotion and safeguard of safe labour migration in line with international human rights standards. It highlights that the vague and ambiguous provisions of the sub-decree may undermine protection of Cambodia’s migrants’ rights in terms of standardizing of employment contract, penalty and reward system, and tackling unregistered/unlicensed agencies, or lack thereof. It concludes that it is a missed opportunity for the 2011 Sub-Decree to establish comprehensive regulatory guidelines and to address pressing labour migration issues, such as undocumented migrants, unscrupulous practices of agencies, and other labour migration-related issues. Although Cambodia is a latecomer in reaping its benefits, economic labour migration in light of its inexorable status is potentially an opportunity if it is well-managed by implementing an integrated, comprehensive and cohesive national policies and programmes in line with inclusive growth and sustainable development goals.


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