Cambodian Migrants in Thailand: Working Conditions and Issues

  •  John Walsh    
  •  Makararavy Ty    


The significant differences in standards of living available across the Thai-Cambodian border are influential in encouraging large numbers of Cambodian migrants to travel for work in Thailand on a temporary or permanent basis. Demand for labour is generally in labour-intensive industries with low value added and the low wages provided act to depress overall earnings. This situation contributes to social tensions and means otherwise uncompetitive work is continued which would otherwise be discontinued because of lack of profitability. Using the findings from qualitative, in-depth interviews with 59 Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand, this paper investigates the types of work that Cambodian migrants are undertaking in Thailand and the conditions in which they live, which is partly determined by the type of work they undertake. Living conditions will in turn determine to some extent the ability of workers to modify their future prospects as remittances change their future prospects.

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