Ministry to Issue Travel Papers to Migrant Workers

Beginning next month, the Interior Ministry will provide labor-specific travel documents to Cambodians with permission to work abroad, according to an August 25 announcement from the ministry obtained Thursday.

“Cambodian laborer travel documents for work abroad are documents for travel from Cambodia to another country where the Cambodian laborer is allowed to stay and work officially,” the announcement said. “This travel letter will be valid for five years and have 16 pages.”

The announcement did not explain the reasons for the new policy, and failed to specify whether the documents would be voluntary or mandatory.

It said applicants would have to present identity, family and residency records to the Labor Ministry and the Interior Ministry’s passport department to apply. An Interior Ministry spokesman referred questions to passport department chief Mao Chandara, who declined to comment.

A spokesman for the Labor Ministry could not be reached.

The government has tried to make it easier for Cambodians to obtain the raft of documents they need to work abroad—following an exodus of migrant laborers from Thailand in the wake of the country’s 2014 coup—by lowering fees and cutting down on bureaucracy.

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