Cambodian Labour Migration to Thailand: A Preliminary Assessment
The Asian financial crisis induced a decline in overall economic growth and a surge in unemployment in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The downturn in the Thai economy has had an adverse impact on thousands of migrant workers, who had been able to take advantage of job opportunities during Thailand’s economic boom. An estimated 82,000 Cambodians were working in Thailand before the crisis—about the same number as the number of workers in the Cambodian garment industry, and about 12 percent of the total labour force in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap provinces. Migration of Cambodians to Thailand is thus of major significance to Cambodia.
As part of a larger study of the impact of the Asian crisis on Cambodia’s economy and
society, this report assesses the impact of the downturn in the Thai economy on Cambodian
migrants seeking work in Thailand on the basis of a rapid survey of 14 villages in Battambang
province carried out in December 1998