The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported a delegation from the Government of Laos to visit Cambodia with the aim of learning the best practices in assisting prospective and returning migrant workers on 21-27 May.
The 7-members government delegation conducted a feasibility study while learning about the role of Migrant Resource Centers in providing assistance, recognition of prior learning/skills testing policies, livelihoods support, skills development linked to job placement, employment referrals, and effective collaboration with the private sector and civil society.
The Government of Cambodia, with support from IOM Cambodia, hosted the delegation and shared its lessons learned in supporting the recruitment, job matching, and job placement of migrant workers – with the goal of resuming safe, orderly migration in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delegation was led by Ms. Vanny Keoxayavong, Deputy Director General of the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare; alongside Mr. Nouphanh Oudsa, Director General of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Ministry of Education and Sports, and Mr. Khamchanh Sivanthong, Deputy Director General of Labor Protection, Lao Federation of Trade Unions; with representatives from the Department of Planning and International Cooperation, Skills Development Institute, Overseas Employment Division and Self-Employment Division of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.
The delegation exchanged views with representatives from various Cambodian institutions – including the Department of Employment and Manpower, Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and National Employment Agency of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training; Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation; the Bantaey Manchaey Province Governor; civil society organizations; private recruitment agencies and employers.
They also had the opportunity to tour the Migrant Resource Center and point-of-entry at Poipet, learning first-hand from immigration officers.
“The feasibility study will bring best practices and lessons learned for the coherence of relevant policies and regulations in Laos, such as on migrant worker recruitment, skills development, skills testing and certification, employment and livelihoods,” remarked Ms. Keoxayavong.
“IOM and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, alongside other key government and development partners, continue to work side-by-side in improving migration in management in Laos,” added Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, IOM Chief of Mission. “In facilitating safe and regular migration, we aim to ensure that migrant workers are equipped to make better migration choices and enhance the socio-economic benefits of labor migration.”
The study visit forms part of IOM’s efforts to support Laos’ post-pandemic recovery in line with the priorities of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan – in particular to improve human resources for socio-economic development and toward graduation from least developed country (LDC) status by 2026.
The visit was funded through IOM’s Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement (PROMISE) program, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Implemented for a second phase in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. PROMISE aims to support migrant workers in accessing skills development leading to gainful employment and promoting enhanced protection of migrant workers in collaboration with key stakeholders from public and private sectors.