Rethinking Social Protection Programs: Cambodian Migrant Workers Deserve Better

COVID-19 has imposed a particularly heavy burden on Southeast Asia’s thousands of undocumented migrant workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the life of labor migrants in Southeast Asia into chaos. Pandemic-related restrictions, business closures, government lockdowns, and mandatory quarantines have all impacted the livelihoods of migrant workers.

One statistic in particular makes this interruption abundantly clear. As the outbreak continues on, many labor-exporting countries have experienced a sudden drop in remittances sent by migrant workers. Cambodia is no exception.

In its report on the subject, the National Bank of Cambodia revealed that the remittances sent by Cambodian migrant workers in 2020 came to just $1.2 billion, a drop of 17 percent compared to 2019, when remittances totaled about $1.5 billion.

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