Ship to Shore Rights

ILO launches three new migrant worker resource centres for Cambodian migrants in the fishing industry

The ILO-EU Ship to Shore Rights South-East Asia programme opens Migrant Worker Resource Centres focused on Cambodians seeking work abroad in the fishing and seafood processing sectors.

Press release | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | 13 May 2022
Outside the Migrant Worker Resource Centre in Serei Sophon city, Bantey Meanchey province. This MRC is one of the three new MRCs in Cambodia, launched by the ILO-EU Ship to Shore Rights South-East Asia programme. © ILO

PHNOM PENH (ILO News) – Cambodian Migrant workers will benefit from information and services provided by three new Migrant Worker Resource Centres supported by the ILO Ship to Shore Rights South-East Asia programme, with funding from the European Union (EU).

Targeting assistance to key communities of origin for migrants in the fishing and seafood processing sectors, the Migrant Worker Resource Centres will deliver services in Koh Kong, Banteay Meanchey and Pursat provinces. They have been established in partnership with the National Employment Agency (NEA), Cambodia Labour Confederation (CLC) and the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) to expand safe migration for decent work for Cambodian migrants.

Women and men potential and returning migrant workers in these areas will receive essential information and training on safe migration and labour rights prior to migration. The Migrant Worker Resource Centres will also provide legal assistance in cases of labour rights abuses during recruitment and employment, psycho-social and livelihood services to support successful reintegration, as well as opportunities to join trade unions, COVID-19 preventative materials and other forms of assistance.

“Migrant Worker Resource Centres play a key role in providing individualized and responsive support services to migrant workers and their families in Cambodia. These three new Centres will build on the success of the existing network in Cambodia, and meet the specific needs of migrant workers in the fishing and seafood processing sectors,” said Graeme Buckley, ILO Country Director for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Cambodian migrants represent a substantial share of the migrant workforce in Thailand’s fishing and seafood processing sectors but are highly vulnerable to labour abuse. With insufficient access to information and services to support safe migration, as well as scarce financial resources, Cambodian migrant workers typically must utilize the limited and often risky migration channels that are available to them. Many experience labour rights violations during their recruitment and employment and have limited access to justice to seek remedies for these abuses.

“Cambodian migrant workers contribute significantly to the social and economic development of Cambodia. We are very pleased to support the work of front-line organizations delivering critical information and services to migrant workers. This way, Cambodian migrant workers will be better able to migrate safely into conditions of decent work, thus reducing the risk of exploitation and labour abuses during their migratory path,“ said Mr Bryan Fornari, Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation in Cambodia.

Since 2011, the ILO has been working with local partners in Cambodia to provide support services to migrant workers and members of their families in areas with large and underserved populations. Through collaboration with the Cambodian Government, trade unions and civil society organizations, MRCs are now operational in eleven provinces across the country, providing services to tens of thousands of migrant beneficiaries.

“The Migrant Worker Resource Centres hosted at the National Employment Agency’s Job Centres provide essential information to migrant workers so that they can seek job opportunities abroad safely and reintegrate successfully after returning home. Receiving accurate and up-to-date information can help migrant workers to make informed decisions, obtain better jobs, maintain safety in the workplace and improve the livelihoods of their families. Linking the Migrant Worker Resource Centres to the Job Centres enables complementary employment services to be delivered for the domestic and international labour markets, ensuring they benefit Cambodian workers wherever they decide to work.”, said H.E. Dr Hay Hunleng, Delegate of the Royal Government of Cambodia in charge as Director General of the National Employment Agency.

The Ship to Shore Rights South-East Asia Programme is a multi-country, multi-annual initiative of the European Union and the United Nations, implemented by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Development Programme.

The programme delivers technical assistance and support with the overall objective of promoting safe and regular labour migration among South East Asian countries. The programme addresses the specific characteristics of work in the fishing and seafood processing sectors as well as the barriers and risks present in the migration system, which can lead to unsafe migration, decent work deficits, abuse and trafficking for forced labour.

More information on Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia can be found at