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International Partnerships

MIGRA-SAFE – Ensuring the safe migration of Cambodian workers to Thailand


The migration of Cambodian workers is largely irregular, especially for those living in the provinces bordering Thailand. These low-skilled workers often travel without visas or work authorisations to Thailand, find manual jobs in sectors such as agriculture, construction or fisheries, and are vulnerable to labour exploitation and human trafficking, as they fall out of the scope of protection foreseen by the Thai legislation.

In this context, this 3-year project, implemented by the Italian NGO Civil Volunteer Group (‘Gruppo di Volontariato Civile’ – GVC) and funded to nearly 80% by the EU, was launched in 2013 to guarantee that the rights of migrant workers – especially women and young people – are respected.


The project aimed at promoting safe labour migration in order to protect the rights of migrant workers – especially women and young people – and reduce their vulnerability to labour exploitation and human trafficking.

Concrete actions to reach this goal included awareness-raising, training, and organisational measures to help migrant workers understand the risks of irregular migration, learn how to save money, and follow a community-based approach to increase their social capital and ensure the respect of their rights and their socioeconomic developmen


With the help of local authorities, notably the Ministry of women’s affairs, the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC) and other civil society network, GVC helped 60,000 Cambodian migrants through:

  • community-based awareness-raising campaigns and targeted information, education and communication (IEC) materials on safe migration practices and the risks of irregular migration, especially among the communities of the Cambodian provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap, who are particularly vulnerable to labour exploitation and human trafficking
  • a ‘Safe migration tour’, using the arts (theatre, music, visual arts etc.) to enhance awareness levels
  • capacity-building trainings for local authorities and stakeholders
  • the creation of village multi-stakeholder groups and civil society networks to better identify information needs within their community and monitor the role of middlemen in the recruitment of migrant workers
  • the creation and reinforcement of community self-protection networks and self-help groups to better protect, ensure and monitor the human rights of migrants
  • empowerment measures to help migrants, especially women, save more money and efficiently use their remittances to increase their socioeconomic impact and development

Extensive research was done as part of the project to assess the initial situation and effects of irregular migration, and to evaluate the impact of the implemented measures.


Civil Volunteer Group (GVC) – project page

Funding instrument

DCI - Migration and Asylum

Implementing organisations

Civil Volunteer Group (‘Gruppo di Volontariato Civile’ – GVC)