The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training is calling on people not to be deceived by private employment agencies.
Recently, some unscrupulous brokers have promoted phony job recruitment scams, making false promises that they can legally sponsor Cambodian workers to take up employment in Australia.
The ministry said that Australian job sponsorships are fakes because neither country has yet to cooperate on any legal job exchange programme.
Minister of Labour Ith Samheng on Monday met with the new Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, Justin Whyatt, at the Ministry of Labour. They discussed a number of pressing issues related to the employment sector.
The minister and the Australian ambassador went over the specifics of a proposed new memorandum of understanding (MoU) titled “Agreement on Cooperation to Prevent Scams Attracting Cambodian Workers for Employment in Australia in Agriculture and Fisheries sectors”.
However, neither country is ready to sign the new MoU yet.
Samheng said: “Cambodia and Australia have not cooperated to permit Cambodian workers to seek employment in Australia yet.”
Following talks with the Australian ambassador, the ministry issued a statement yesterday confirming that the ministry had recently received information about unscrupulous employment agents. The brokers advertised promises to find jobs for Cambodian citizens in Australia if they paid fees up front.
Consequently, the ministry urges people to be very cautious about any advertised promise of overseas employment.
“All overseas employment for Cambodian workers through private recruitment agencies is checked and authorised by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training,” it added.
“Offers to send workers to countries that have not cooperated with Cambodia is fraudulent and could be a human trafficking crime,” the ministry said.
Centre for Alliance and of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL) programme officer, Dy The Hoya said that without formal agreements or exchanges between countries, there is no legitimacy to job offers overseas. In such cases, citizens face fraud and can become unwilling victims of human or labour trafficking.
“CENTRAL has not heard of people being cheated over job offers in Australia yet. But we have heard Cambodians are working as fruit and vegetable pickers there, so they are not legally employed.”
He added: “The government and especially civil society organisations that are partners of the government need to disseminate information about which countries have cooperated, or not yet agreed, to receive our workers.
“If citizens don’t know this information, they are vulnerable to fraud.”
Nevertheless, The Hoya encouraged the government to cooperate with Australia to find employment for Cambodian workers in Australia, or other nations that ensure good conditions of employment and respect for human rights.
Source: Khmer Times