More effort needed to prevent people being trafficked to Cambodia for work

July 08, 2022 - 09:00
Việt Nam and Cambodia have a labour cooperation agreement to ensure legal protection for each other's workers, however, it seems many Vietnamese workers are being swindled to work in Cambodia in terrible conditions.

Border guards in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai talk with residents about working abroad. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoài Nam

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Cambodia have a labour cooperation agreement to ensure legal protection for each other's workers, however, it seems many Vietnamese workers are being swindled to work in Cambodia in terrible conditions.

The information was revealed by Nguyễn Gia Liêm, deputy director of the Department of Overseas Labour (DOLAB) under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

He said that those workers did not work abroad under labour contracts of licensed enterprises but illegally cross the border on land.

In the past, the DOLAB issued warnings and general recommendations for workers intending to gain employment abroad. However, there has never been a separate warning for the Cambodian market.

The DOLAB recommends that workers actively seek information about the foreign labour market to see whether they can meet the job requirements.

Workers need to contact enterprises that have permits to send workers to work abroad. The list of the enterprises is posted on the DOLAB’s website. Or they can contact labour management agencies in their localities for further guidance.

Liêm also suggested that when workers or the press receive information about defrauding employees, they should provide information to management agencies.

Based on the information, the DOLAB can request local authorities to inspect. If any organisation or individual violates, they must be handled following laws.

Regarding tricks to defraud workers, Liêm said: "Using social networks, many organisations and individuals that are not allowed to take workers to work abroad have given them false information. They set up websites and groups on Zalo to gain workers’ trust.”

“Some organisations and individuals use images of workers working abroad to post on their fake websites as if they are reputable enterprises to attract workers’ attention,” he said.

Preventing this problem requires coordination with the police and other concerned organisations to detect those that are breaking the law and inform workers.

Earlier, as reported by the press, in different provinces such as Ninh Bình and Thanh Hóa, some people posted recruitment information on social networks or directly met and proposed workers to work abroad in Cambodia. They promised to bring the workers high wages but actually will work in casinos.

Local authorities have issued notices to prevent this problem.

In the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, the provincial border guards also discovered that some teenagers who want to find jobs with a high income have been tricked into going to Cambodia and then being asked for money as a ransom.

At 6pm on July 3, the border guards forces picked up Pui Thái, 28 and Pui Phú, 16 at Pleiku Airport in Gia Lai Province.

They are from Ia O Commune, Ia Grai District.

They are two out of seven people who were illegally taken to Cambodia to work.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Đinh Văn Sơn, Deputy Director of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention Department under the Gia Lai Police, said that recruiting workers to go abroad was actually a scam.

Most of those tricked are teenagers who were promised an "easy job and high salary". The reality puts their families in difficult circumstances.

These criminals often force the victims to then cheat others. If they refused, they force the victims to pay a fine of about US$1,000 or be beaten and starved.

In response to the problem, the deputy chairman of the Gia Lai People's Committee Nguyễn Thị Thanh Lịch last Friday sent documents to the provincial Fatherland Front Committee, Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, police and districts people's committees to check and report if workers in their area were tricked to illegally work in Cambodia.

The provincial People’s Committee also assigned the police to propose preventive measures.

It requested the local People's Committees proactively check the labour situation in the area and strengthen education for local people.

It directed concerned agencies to actively coordinate with Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consulates in Cambodia to have a plan to rescue those who are still in Cambodia.

Statistics of the provincial police said that in the first six months of this year, 43 cases of fraud were reported with the amount of more than VNĐ26 billion ($1.1 million).

“People who need to find a job should study well before and follow regulated procedures about labour contracts. They should contact local authorities or departments of labour, invalids and social affairs for specific guidance and advice. People must be alert to information on social networks, it is necessary to have verification to avoid being cheated," said Sơn. — VNS